The Flyers, having dropped four straight down the stretch, really need to get back on the winning track. That's where the Buffalo Sabres come in...
As Collin noted yesterday, despite the fact that the Flyers haven't been picking up the wins lately, there's really no need to panic. They still have a 96.4 percent chance of making the playoffs, and are just a few points away from clinching a spot.
That being said, the odds of a post-season berth will drop fairly heavily if they lose to Buffalo Sabres tonight. And it would be debilitating, because Buffalo is just a terrible team.
Buffalo Sabres (21-47-9, 51 pts) at Philadelphia Flyers (39-29-9, 87 pts)
7:30 p.m. | Wells Fargo Center | Philadelphia, PA
Local TV: TSN 2, NBCSN | Radio: 97.5 The Fanatic
Get the Buffalo perspective at Die By The Blade
There's not really much to say about the Sabres other than that they are very bad and have been all year. They currently sit at the very bottom of the league with just 51 (!) points, and have an abysmal 8-27-3 record on the road. Seriously, they are so bad at winning that they'll probably end up losing the draft lottery.
On top of the inability to win, the team struggles at driving play as a whole, and have hovered at the 40% mark in shot attempts all season. Not a single player on the team comes out as a positive in terms of possession, and to be honest, no one really stands out in general. Every big name that has played there this season -- Matt Moulson, Tomas Vanek, Ryan Miller, Steve Ott, even -- has been shipped out for greener pastures. Looking up and down the lineup is just…depressing, especially when you notice Ville Leino still has a goose egg in the goal column.
I'll spare you a line-by-line reproduction of stats, but just take my word for it -- the Sabres stink. If the Flyers lose to them tonight, I don't think a freak out would be totally unjustified.
There will probably be some line juggling for the Flyers today, considering yesterday's outing was somewhat of a disaster in the third period. Kurt probably put it best with these projected lines:
Putting together gamethread for tomorrow's game. Can confirm that these are the Flyers' forward lines. pic.twitter.com/eWtQLuUQNl— Kurt (@Kurt_BSH) April 5, 2014
Steve Downie will apparently not make his triumphant return tonight, so superstar Jay Rosehill will likely remain in the lineup. Since Ray Emery got the start yesterday in Boston, I expect Steve Mason to lace them up tonight.
Game starts at 7:30 and is nationally broadcast on NBCSN because who doesn't want to see this game? Buffalo sucks (for real). Go Flyers.