BUFFALO NY - JANUARY 11: Prior to the start of the Buffalo Sabres match against the Philadelphia Flyers fans pass around a giant Sabres flag during their NHL game at HSBC Arena January 11 2011 in Buffalo New York. (Photo By Dave Sandford/Getty Images)
Kind of a lot of news today from Buffalo, where the Flyers are set to take on the Sabres tonight. Let's quickly recap. Most of this news comes via the reporters on the ground at HSBC Arena, and if you're not following them all on Twitter, you need to re-evaluate your life.
To start, some Flyers lineup changes. Danny Briere is back in the lineup tonight against his old team. Blair Betts, meanwhile, won't play. It's likely that he sits out tomorrow against the Islanders as well, according to Paul Holmgren.
Jody Shelley could be back in the lineup tonight in Betts' place, especially considering Ben Holmstrom's been sent back to Adirondack. Shelley will be wearing a full shield, which should be pretty hilarious if he tries to fight. Nikolay Zherdev is still in the lineup, too, in case you were wondering.
Sergei Bobrovsky's in goal, and he'll go up against Jhonas Enroth for the Sabres. Enroth has been superb in the absence of Ryan Miller, so he's certainly no push over. (And I mean, backup goalie against the Flyers? Come on now.)
Tonight's game certainly has some playoff implications. If the Sabres earn one point tonight (or Saturday in Columbus), they'll clinch a playoff spot. The Flyers can potentially win the Atlantic Division tonight, as well, should they win and the Penguins lose on Long Island.
Should the Flyers lose and the Pens win, the Flyers will drop to No. 4. Go Islanders (vomit). A Flyers loss would also take them out of contention for the top spot in the conference. They need to win both tonight and tomorrow, while hoping for a Capitals loss on Saturday ... in, uh, Florida.
Tonight could be a fun one, what with Holmgren bitching out the team the other day and all that. The game thread will be up around 5 p.m. Go Flyers.