The Sabres wrap up their road trip in Vancouver.

January 25, 2018

(WGR 550) - The Sabres wrap up their three game Western Canada trip in Vancouver tonight. Buffalo is trying to go 3-0 after impressive wins in Calgary and Edmonton.

Buffalo is 1-8-1 in their last 10 games in Vancouver.

Last year’s number one power play has caught fire and his gone from 30th in the league to 26th. In the last four games, Buffalo is 6-for-15 on the PP which is 40 percent. They have power play goals in seven out of the last 10 games in which they had a PP opportunity.

On the other hand, the penalty kill has been atrocious during that time although they were 2-for-2 in Edmonton.

Buffalo has won three of five games, but one of those loses was 7-1 at home to Dallas. By the way, the Stars beat Florida 6-1 after that game.

On this trip, Chad Johnson and Robin Lehner have stopped 65-of-66 shots. With his shutout in Edmonton, Lehner is now 10-18-6 with a 2.96 goals against and .910 save percentage.

Lately, Jack Eichel has been as good as he could possibly be. Since Dec. 2, Eichel has 13 goals and 17 assists for 30 points in 22 games. He has points in seven straight games netting five goals and nine assists for 14 points.

Since the game was well in hand, Eichel only played 15:21 in Edmonton and had four points. His 49 points in 48 games has him tied for 17th in league scoring with guys like Pat Kane and Evgeni Malkin.

Since the calendar has turned 2018, Sam Reinhart has played some pretty good hockey. Reinhart comes home to play tonight with four goals and four assists for eight points in the 10 games of 2018. That would give him 33 goals and 66 points over 82 games.

In his last six games, Kyle Okposo has played very well. He has two goals and seven assist for nine points. In his last 20 games he has five goals and 12 assists for 17 points. That’s a 70 point pace.

Rasmus Ristolainen has 12 points in 11 games, which is more like what Phil Housley envisioned from him. The best part of Ristolainen’s game has been his physical play. He has gotten under the skin of many of his opponents and he has looked like a number one defenseman while doing it.

The last 20 games haven’t been kind to Vancouver. The Canucks have only five wins in those 20 games and are only ahead of Arizona in the Pacific Division.

Former Sabre Thomas Vanek and to beg, borrow and steal to find a team this season and he’s second on the team in scoring. Vanek has 14 goals and 35 points for the Canucks, which includes two goals and four assists for six points in five games.

Rookie sensation Brock Boeser leads Vancouver with 24 goals and 19 assists for 43 points in 45 games. Boeser has eight more goals than any other rookie and only trails the Islanders Matt Barzal in points.

Vancouver still has the Sedin twins at 37 years of age. Vanek is 34.

Jacob Markstrom has been in goal for Vancouver for 11-of-13 games. He’s 13-15-5 with a 2.74 goals against and .99 save percentage. His backup is Lehner’s backup from last season, Anders Nilsson.  

In the last five games, the Canucks are 6-for-19 with the man advantage which is 31.6 percent. The Canucks power play ranks 6th in the league at 22.4 percent.

So, it’s the NHL’s 28th ranked team against the 30th ranked club. Join me and Brian Koziol for the pregame starting at 9:00 on WGR Sports Radio 550.