A Festivus Miracle Can Begin Tonight Against Washington

Here’s hoping that your Christmas was a good one, full of overeating, hanging with family and opening presents. If there’s still one more thing on your Christmas wishlist, i.e. a return to winning ways for the Sabres – it may start tonight against the Washington Capitals.

Last time these two teams met (back on November 26th), the Sabres tore them apart in a 5-1 victory, leading to the Caps firing their coach, Bruce Boudreau. Who do they hire but old Sabres nemesis Dale Hunter who will obviously teach his players to viciously check guys without the puck who aren’t looking. Well, one likes to assume these things, that way we can work up a good dislike of the Capitals.

The Sabres are trying to avoid four straight losses, while the Caps are on a skid of their own. They’re 5-4-1 in their last ten games and they’ve only gone 5-5-1 since hiring Dale Hunter.

Perhaps we’re getting our Christmas wishes as the Sabres appear to be getting healthy: both Brad Boyes and Jochen Hecht return tonight and on top of that Vanek will be playing. Paul Szczechura is a healthy scratch while Derek Whitmore returns to Rochester after a pretty solid outing with the parent club.

Both teams need some wins to get back in the playoff mix. The Caps and Sabres are 10th and 11th in the Eastern Conference respectively. The Caps are every bit as hungry for a win as the Sabres and should make the contest tonight a pretty fierce one. 300w" sizes="(max-width: 559px) 100vw, 559px" />

The Sabres are just 4 points back from the 7th and 8th spots. A win tonight and we leapfrog Washington to tie Winnipeg. (Click to embiggen.)

Aside from getting healthy again we also have a secret weapon. It’s name is flair.

The Sabres will be hosting a holiday sweater tent party – i.e. an ugly sweater party in the Tailgate Party Tent. Tickets are $10 bucks and you get a free beer! From the Sabres site:

Fans are encouraged to wear their favorite holiday-themed sweaters at the tent party and enjoy the Sabres trivia, music and Sabres prizes – including tickets, three autographed jerseys, an autographed stick and more – before heading inside First Niagara Center for the game. A current Sabres player will be on hand to interact with fans and sign autographs. 300w" sizes="(max-width: 500px) 100vw, 500px" />

It's a work of art AND keeps you warm! Perhaps the Sabres should switch to something similar.

The more ugly sweaters, the more holiday cheer, the more emotion and rowdiness in the FN Center. Dig out your worst/best sweaters and add buttons, lights, whatever makes it gaudy and offensive to the eye. We can demoralize and/or blind the Capitals. Sabres players have an inverse reaction to ugly holiday swag and will be energized by it.

Here’s hoping it can spark the Sabres on a roll tonight!

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