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Gameday Updates: Sabres at Wings

NHL: Detroit Red Wings at Buffalo Sabres Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Ok, NOW we can rage about Sheahan being Helm's replacement on the 2nd line:

Mrazek was also in the starters's net for the morning skate, so he should be between the pipes tonight as expected.

Keys to the Game

Bad Defense vs. Worse Defense

A roughed up Sabres defense works in our favor, and our forwards should look to take advantage - especially our speedsters who can tire them out. The Sabres have a decent crop of forwards, and our defense is somewhere between a belly-flop from 30m and a bunch of kittens chasing a laser dot in terms of finesse and organization, so we need all the goals we can get (along with some solid goaltending).

Shut down Eichel

Jack Eichel pulled an Ericsson and scored on his own net during the California roadtrip, but we probably can’t expect a repeat of that. He’s a great player on a lousy team, and has been quietly putting together a pretty good season. Everything the Sabres do offensively goes through Eichel, he’s the one who carries the puck safely out of the Sabres zone, and then quickly into the opposing team’s zone.

But honestly, the main reason I want us to contain Eichel is I don’t want to sit through 50 segments of NBCSN “experts” going on and on and on about him.

Keep the powerplay rolling

Surprise! The Red Wings have 5 powerplay goals over their last 15 opportunities. Too little too late, but still nice to see. The Wings don’t believe they are doing anything differently on the powerplay lately, but feel like they are seeing some better luck with the shots they manage to get on net.