Buffalo Sabres: Ted Nolan returns against the Toronto Maple Leafs

Buffalo Sabres head coach Ted Nolan.

Buffalo Sabres head coach Ted Nolan. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Ted Nolan‘s highly anticipated debut, or return if you’d like, happens conveniently right before a meeting with old foes. Tonight, and again tomorrow, the Buffalo Sabres and Toronto Maple Leafs embark on a home-and-home mini-series that promises animosity and hate will be served up on the regular. The last time these two teams met they engaged in a weekend affair that was arguably the most entertaining back-to-back saga either franchise has played in years.

On September 21st, the Sabres and Maple Leafs stalled many Saturday night plans as they endured an epic 15 round shootout. Goaltenders Jhonas Enroth and James Reimer were dominant, denying shooter after shooter in what seemed like a never ending clinic on puck stopping. If you have 13 minutes to kill, enjoy:

The next night, things got heated in the 3rd period of an entertaining back and forth tilt that you probably remember. A fight between NHL hopefuls Corey Tropp and Jamie Devane prefaced a line-brawl that at times, was more comical than vicious, depending on your sense of humour. The melee sparked fighting controversy debates and resulted in an automatic 10-game suspension to Leafs offseason free agent signing David Clarkson.

Ted Nolan coaches tough teams, traditionally. Therefore, the Sabres brand new boss might be excited about the return of enforcer and figure of controversy, John Scott. The giant scrapper rejoins the lineup after serving a 7-game suspension for a hit on Bruins winger Loui Eriksson.

Does anyone think two games in two nights between two teams that brawled last time they played might get out of hand?

It has been 17 years since Ted Nolan coached the Buffalo Sabres. Tonight’s game represents a new chapter in his career and Sabres history. Expect an entertaining show between a couple of clubs with a propensity to give up scoring chances.

Change always breeds excitement. Is Buffalo excited?