NBCSN will continue its coverage of the 2014-15 campaign as Buffalo Sabres host the Philadelphia Flyers at the First Niagara Center at 7:30 p.m. ET. In addition to NBCSN, you can also watch the game and pre-show online.
The odds remain stacked against the Philadelphia Flyers making the playoffs, but if they want to make a surge, they need to mop up games like Sunday’s match against the Buffalo Sabres.
Philly will display something of a new look on Sunday, as they get some players back from injuries and/or illnesses. Michael Raffl looks like he’ll return to his spot on the Flyers’ vaunted first line while Braydon Coburn should eat up some key minutes on defense.
It’s not the only situation to watch, however, as Zach Bogosian readies for his Sabres debut after the blockbuster Tyler Myers – Evander Kane trade.
Buffalo looks to roll with Michal Neuvirth tonight while the Flyers will go as far as Ray Emery can take them, at least until Steve Mason can return from his knee injury.
(Some believe the Flyers should shut down Mason altogether in 2014-15.)
Can the Flyers lock up two crucial points or will the Sabres play the role of spoiler? We’ll see on NBCSN on Sunday night.
Just a few days ago, forward Drew Stafford and defenseman Tyler Myers were on the worst team in the NHL, then the Buffalo Sabres dealt them to the Winnipeg Jets as part of the Evander Kane trade and suddenly they found themselves with an opportunity to play in the postseason. Stafford and Myers did everything they could to make the most of that chance tonight as they played a key role in the Jets’ 5-4 shootout victory over Detroit.
Myers logged 22:57 minutes and recorded two assists. His first was particularly noteworthy as it was the byproduct of a nice drive on his part that Blake Wheeler ultimately capitalized on.
His second assist came on Stafford’s first goal with Winnipeg, which was an odd one that Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard really should have stopped.
Stafford’s bigger contribution came much later when he fired the deciding shot in the shootout.
Winnipeg has now won three of its last four contests to maintain its five-point cushion over the Minnesota Wild in the battle for a postseason berth.
Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard was starting for the first time since sustaining a groin injury and kicked out 34 of 38 shots. He’s already been confirmed as the starter for Monday’s game against Montreal, per MLive.com writer Ansar Khan. Detroit will be taking a two-game losing streak into that rivalry contest.
Defenseman Tyler Myers made his Winnipeg Jets debut Thursday night playing 21:23 and registering a minus-1 rating in Winnipeg’s 3-1 loss to the Nashville Predators.
However, following Wednesday’s blockbuster deal with the Buffalo Sabres, GM Kevin Cheveldayoff has already received calls on Myers.
According to hockey insider Darren Dreger, the Jets would like to add another top nine forward to their lineup. As a result, teams have called asking whether Cheveldayoff would be willing to part with Myers for a top forward.
Dreger says a deal invlovling Myers won’t happen before the deadline as the Jets would like to see how the blueliner fits in Winnipeg before making any further moves.
Tyler Myers made his debut for the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday, and it … could have gone better.
For one thing, the Nashville Predators beat his new team 3-1 tonight. Even worse, Nashville’s own really large, hard-shooting defenseman Shea Weber sent a shot that connected with Myers’ knee, leaving him in obvious pain late in the third period.
On the bright side, it might not be the absolute worst-case scenario. Puck Daddy’s Josh Cooper sheds a little light on his situation right after the contest:
So, maybe a bullet was dodged, although Myers would probably say that Weber’s shot didn’t feel a lot better.
While there were flashes of brilliance – or at least Winnipeg taking advantage of Myers’ powerful shot on a team that already boasts Dustin Byfuglien’s bomb – it had to be a bit of an empty feeling tonight.
The Jets are probably just hoping they only lost the game and not their shiny new defenseman, though.
(Even if they were considering shopping him anyway.)
Tonight in Nashville, Tyler Myers is expected to begin his Winnipeg Jets career on a defensive pairing with veteran puck-mover Tobias Enstrom.
Myers, traded yesterday from Buffalo, is unlikely to log the 25 or so minutes he typically did with the Sabres. That won’t be necessary with two other capable pairings in Winnipeg, Dustin Byfuglien with Ben Chiarot and Mark Stuart with Jacob Trouba.
In Buffalo, Myers skated mostly with Josh Gorges. Not only did those two play big minutes and face the toughest competition on a nightly basis, over 40 percent of the faceoffs they were on the ice for took place in the defensive zone.
That’s no formula for good offensive numbers, and Myers was proof, with just four goals and nine assists in 47 games.
Not that he hasn’t struggled in recent seasons; Myers is no pure victim of circumstance. But Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff believes the 25-year-old’s career can be rejuvenated if provided a better chance to succeed, in a role that’s not beyond his capabilities.
“Tyler’s got a tremendous foundation,” said Cheveldayoff. “He’s big. He can shoot. He’s going to have an opportunity to play with a deeper defense corps. He can log a lot of minutes.
“Sometimes, in this game, fresh starts are really welcome for players that have lots of expectations heaped on them, and lots of hype as young players. Because it is a hard game to play as a young player and even harder as a young defenseman.”
As for winger Drew Stafford, the other roster player the Jets picked up in the Evander Kane trade, he’ll start on a line with Mark Scheifele and Mathieu Perreault, two talented forwards enjoying fine seasons.