2. Alex Ovechkin Vs. Taylor Hall
One of the most intriguing games to keep an eye on tonight is between the Washington Capitals and the Buffalo Sabres, with plenty of storylines to keep us all entertained in that one showdown alone.
Firstly, Alex Ovechkin’s quest to beat Wayne Gretzky‘s All-Time Goals record of 894, with the Great Eight currently sitting on 706 goals. Granted, a shortened 56-game schedule won’t help Ovechkin’s cause but, if anyone can do it, then it is the Russian superstar.
And Ovechkin can actually overtake Mike Gartner (708) in seventh place on the list with a hat trick tonight, while he’s only 35 behind Brett Hull (741) who sits in fourth, so it is feasible that Ovechkin can do some serious damage in getting closer to The Great One this year.
It won’t be easy to score tonight against a Buffalo Sabres team, however, who are determined to prove that this is the start of a new era for this beleaguered franchise. They haven’t been to the postseason in nine years, yes nine, and in order to put an end to that drought the franchise hired a new General Manager in Kevyn Adams this offseason.
Adams immediately went to work and sent ripples throughout the hockey world when he signed Free Agent forward Taylor Hall to a one-year, $8 million deal, before also trading for veteran center Eric Staal from the Minnesota Wild. With a big jump expected from the likes of stud defenseman Rasmus Dahlin this year too, the Sabres should be a lot better than they have been.
They better be or else they risk upsetting franchise cornerstone and Captain Jack Eichel further, who won’t take another year or two without Playoff hockey lightly. Therefore, expect the Buffalo Sabres to do whatever it takes this year to try and make the postseason, and it will be fascinating to see how quickly Hall and Eichel can forge a deadly understanding out on the ice.