You can do whatever you want with numbers but it's hard to argue the Sabres' consistency in winning the last two games: Four goals, 39 shots on goal and 24 hits in each has produced wins over Atlanta and Ottawa.
"The energy in our game is better again," coach Lindy Ruff said today as most of the Sabres took the morning off to prepare for tonight's game against Detroit. "We came out of that five games in eight
nights and there was not a lot of energy. We want to push the tempo but if you're not getting there, you can't. Our chances were way down, our opportunities were way down. Our last two games, the energy in our game is that much better."
One of the Sabres' best players the last two games has been Patrick Kaleta, who had season-high totals of six shots on goal and seven hits Friday night. He has 11 hits and 10 shots the last two games and has shown discipline in his play, taking the hit when it's available rather than running all over the ice nilly-willy.
"I've talked to Lindy before and sometimes I get too rambunctious and a little bit too enthusiastic," Kaleta said. "But I felt these past two games have been my best two games of the season with moving my feet and getting the puck to the net, being a threat. When the hit's there I've got to take it and that's what we've been working on."
That's a conversation I've had with him. There's times where [a big hit] is available and there's times where you have to be sound position player, be a good player. Their line [Kaleta-Paul Gaustad-Nathan Gerbe] really played well. ... Offensively, the way they controlled play, they garnered puck possession and that line did a nice job for us."
Don't look for any changes in the Buffalo lineup. Ryan Miller will again be in goal. Andrej Sekera will again be a scratch. We're awaiting the noon re-entry waiver deadline on Craig Rivet. Stay tuned.