From my blog http://www.sammonroe.net
Tonight the Boston Bruins will be playing host to the Buffalo Sabres and it may be very early in the season but this is a very important game. With the schedule so that teams in the same division on play each other six times during the course of the season, every division game is huge.
The Bruins have already snagged 12 points out of a possible 16 Northeast division points. Each team in the NHL will have 24 games inside its division, a potential for 48 points.
The Bruins are leading the Northeast division and the Sabres in third just five points back. Boston is second in the conference and the Sabres sit in seventh.
Surprisingly the Bruins have the second best offense in the division scoring 55 goals, second only to the Maple Leafs. Phil Kessel is leading the team in goals with eight and Marc Savard is leading the team in assists (15) and points (21). But those aren't the only guys putting up points, Blake Wheeler, Marco Sturm (Out tonight with an upper body injury, listed as day to day), and Marc Savard all have six goals. Milan Lucic and Dennis Wideman both have five goals. In goal Tim Thomas is playing like an All-Star (he is not on the ballot) boasting a 1.78 goals against average and a .944 save percentage. Thomas has seven of the teams 11 wins with Manny Fernandez picking up the other four.
The Sabres have netted 50 goals this season, with Thomas Vanek netting 13 of those. Jason Pominville has poked seven past goalies. Clarke MacArthur and Ales Kotalik have netted six goals and five goals respectively. Vanek also leads the team in points with 16, while defenseman Andrej Sekera leads the team in assists.
Goaltender Ryan Miller has logged eight wins in 14 chances with a 2.22 goals against average. Patrick Lalime has picked up the teams only other win.