The second most populous city in the state of New York, next to NYC. Though that's about as impressive as me telling you that the younger brother is the second strongest brother in a family of two sons, and a few baby sisters.
A land generally referred to as the pimple on Canada's ass. Alright, I just made that up, but still....
Without a doubt the biggest story leading into tonight is Ville Leino getting his first chance to skate against his former Philadelphia Flyers squad since throwing on the Sabres sweater.
And to be perfectly honest, I couldn't care less.
We all thought Jakub Voracek was having a tough time putting points on his resume? Check out Leino's stats with Buffalo. He hasn't scored a goal since the opening game of the season, or assisted a linemate since October 20th.
I knew his newly signed contract was too much, but I didn't think it'd prove that fact this early in the schedule.
Ville has a whopping 2-points (1 G, 1 A) in the first month of the season. To say he's struggling is certainly an understatement. But there's no denying he's a skillful skater, able to break loose in any period against any team. And to know this, the fact he'll have a chip on his shoulder makes him out to be a threat whether the stats sheet says he is or is not.
Leino can play with whatever size chip he wants on his shoulder. The Flyers have a bone to pick with him, too. It was Ville who responded to the Buffalo press after his acquisition that the Sabres deserved the win in last season's QuarterFinals Series.
I can only imagine that not sitting well with a few Flyers vets.
And speaking of Flyers vets; we all learned Captain Chris Pronger was placed back on Injured Reserve yesterday, where he's incapable of coming off for another six days. Danny Briere will not be skating tonight, making it the second consecutive missed match. He is listed Day-to-Day and rumored to return tomorrow against the Devils.
With Pronger on IR, Matt Walker finally sent back down to Glen Falls, Danny Boy and Matt Read scratched due to their undisclosed minor injuries, the door's left open for Phantoms players Ben Holmstrom (C) and Harry Zolnie...Zuullmiec....uhhhh, Harry Z to fill two roster spots in tonight's line combos.
Claude Giroux continues to lead the charge on the goal scoring front with seven planted frozen discs of rubber. Jagr backs that up with five goals, six assists, and together "Yagaroo" make quite the pair. The not-so-much-third-wheel, Scott Hartnell, looks to lengthen his benevolence to the first line of crease crashers.
And lastly, but certainly not least, Ilya Bryzgalov has his second consecutive chance to attest he's finally made it out of the woods (Yes, I agree, the pun is beginning to get old already). Bryz skated away from last Saturday's match up with a .980 SV%, saving 24 of 25 Carolina shots on net.
Let's pray he inks a similar outing tonight.
And who can forget our pal Ryan Miller? I'm positive he's looking forward to stonewall the visiting Mass Murderers this evening.
Miller Time is sporting a season combined .930 SV%, and a 2.14 goals-against average. Aside from his bitching in last post-season's series, it doesn't negate the reality that Ryan is an outstanding goaltender capable of absorbing any puck no matter how hard it was fired. He rarely gives up second chances, so we won't be seeing too many garbage goals.
To beat Miller, this Flyers team is going to have to be spot-on in the offensive zone with passing and positioning. Crashing the cage is still essential, though. No man is perfect, besides myself. So there is the possibility a puck could come screaming off Miller's blocker and wind up begging to be flipped into the opposite side, empty net.
And one more thing; Patrick Kaleta? You're still a bottom dwelling scumbag.