The Sabres will not have a representative in the NHL All-Star Game Jan. 30 at Carolina as the rosters were completed today and no Buffalo player was named. Tyler Ennis will be the Buffalo representative, taking part in the skills competition on Jan. 29. The complete list can be found here. Teams will be formed Jan. 28 as part of the league's new fantasy draft. The Sabres, Islanders, Panthers and Coyotes were shut out of the selections.
As for tonight's game against Philadelphia, coach Lindy Ruff said defenseman Mike Weber will be back in the lineup after missing one game with a bruised finger. Ruff would not say for sure, but it's expected that the Sabres will scratch Chris Butler and a forward (either Nathan Gerbe or Luke Adam) and again go with seven defensemen.
"We've got a chance to play against the best team in the East and we're very much looking forward to this," Weber said. "They're a fast team. You can eliminate some of that speed with physical play down low but you can't run out of position and give them opportunities where they can jump by us."
The Flyers have seven forwards with at least 10 goals, led by the 21 of ex-Sabre Daniel Briere, who was snubbed in today's all-star picks. The Sabres have just two 10-goal fowards (Thomas Vanek has 16 and Drew Stafford has 14).
"They might have the best corps of offensive players," Ruff said. "They've been able to win tight games, been able to win shootouts. Their defense has played well too. Even with [Chris] Pronger out, other guys have stepped in and played well for them."
Asked if Philly's corps of centers are the best in the league, Ruff said, "I think it's pretty close. You might argue Detroit has a couple that are pretty good too. Overall on the offensive side, it's a very creative group."
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