Canadiens @ Sabres - Game Preview
After dropping a close affair with the Boston Bruins last night, the Habs travel to Buffalo to take on the struggling Sabres.
After 9 games of the 2013 NHL season, your Montreal Canadiens are 6-3-0. Annoyingly, that only gets them to 3rd in their division, but a win tonight would put them ahead of the Ottawa Senators.
After defeat at the hands of the Boston Bruins last night, the Habs will be looking to rebound against a team they beat 6-1 just five days ago. Since that game, the Buffalo Sabres have kept on losing, and now carry a record of 3-6-1 and sit at second last in the Eastern Conference, last in the Northeast Division.
Thomas Vanek remains hot for the Sabres with an absurd 19 points in 9 games, The highest scoring Canadien, Andrei Markov, has 10 fewer points with 9 in 9 games.
But that's about the only area where the Sabres look better than the Habs.
After 9 games, the Canadiens are second in the entire NHL in Fenwick percentage while the game is tied (the percentage of shot attempts that are not blocked that were fired by the Habs) with 59.38%. They trail only the Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings. They're also 3rd in the league in Fenwick percentage while the game is close with 55.26%, trailing Los Angeles again as well as the St. Louis Blues.
Buffalo on the other hand ranks 27th in the league in Fenwick tied with 43.8%, and 27th in Fenwick close with 45.67%.
The interesting dynamic for tonight though, is that the Canadiens haven't been the same dominant team on the road. It's a very small sample so far, with only two games played, but the Habs are the worst team in the league in Fenwick close on the road, with just 36.17%.
Luckily, Buffalo is no world beater at home, with a Fenwick close of just 48.17%.
Team stats from NHL.com:
If you'd like to know more about the Sabres, check our our SBN brothers Die by the Blade, and you could also check out our coverage of the last Sabres game from Saturday.