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Game 5 Preview: Thrashers Hunt Points in Buffalo

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The mini-interview with "In Lou We Trust" was popular (and the Thrashers got a win!!!) so I'll do my part to keep the momentum going. Today we have 5 question with David Olesky who is the head guy at "Die By The Blade" SB Nation's Sabres blog. (Trivia: Die By the Blade was the very first NHL blog at SB Nation)

If you're never been to Buffalo to watch NHL hockey, the Sabres have one of the better new buildings in terms of sight lines. Years ago I bought tickets to watch an epic goalie battle in Buffalo--it was Brodeur versus Hasek. Much to my amazement Hasek allowed goals on 3 of the first 4 shots in the game and was pulled early. I went in expecting a 0-0 tie the final score was 7-4 I believe.

5 Questions with David Olesky of "Die By The Blade"

BWA: What has been the biggest pleasant on-ice surprise for Sabres early in the season?

DBTB: I would have to say the defense. The Sabres have been known as an offensive team since the lockout and the defense was their biggest concern. In the early going of this season they have been great. The best pairing has been 19 year-old Tyler Myers and Henrik Tallinder. Myers has shown poise at both ends of the ice and is among the team leaders in ice time while Tallinder leads the team with a plus-6 rating.

BWA: What has been the biggest unpleasant on-ice surprise for Sabres early in the season?

DBTB: Before the six goal explosion against Detroit on Tuesday night, I would have said the offense. They scored only four goals in their first three games despite playing against two backup goalies. They beat Phoenix backup Jason Labarbara twice and Predators backup Pekka Rinne just once on 42 shots. The team has managed to win games because of their defense and goaltending but they need the offense to be more consistent if they intend on being a playoff team this season.

DBTB: Right now they seem to be clicking on all cylinders. They are allowing just over one goal per game defensively and they scored six on Detroit Tuesday night. There is no way they can continue to play this way for an entire season but they have the people in Buffalo excited through the first couple of weeks.

In general, I agree completely with your assessment of the team. I think the forwards on the team are very under-rated, Ryan Miller is a beast (especially lately) and the defense has many question marks.

BWA: Going up against the Thrashers, is there anything about the matchup that concerns you from a BUF perspective?

DBTB: This is a difficult question to answer for someone who doesn’t get to see too many Thrashers games. I guess from a personal standpoint I am interested to see Evander Kane play in the NHL. I find it fascinating to watch these young players and see how they compete against grown men. I think any team would pull their hair out trying to figure out how to contain Ilya Kovalchuk and the Sabres would be no different. He can single handedly beat a team and the Sabres defense will probably have their stiffest test to date.

BWA: I think you have one of the snazziest logos and blog names on SB Nation. Was picking a blog name and coming up with the logo hard or difficult for you?

DBTB: It’s funny you ask this question. Myself and Tyler (SB Nation Editor-in-Chief) were throwing names back and forth at each other for a couple of weeks. Tyler eventually came up with Die by the Blade and I knew right away that it was a keeper. I had a similar reaction to the logo…when it was sent to me I thought it was fantastic. That was a long time ago when Die by the Blade was the only hockey blog on SB Nation and look at where we are now.

Thanks for allowing me to share my thoughts with the great readers at Bird Watchers Anonymous and good luck in the game Saturday.