Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Buffalo News,
Miller took two hard shots off his mask, summoning medical attention right after each.
“It was just a matter of not being able to get the hell out of the way. I was just stuck,” Miller said. “You either take it off the head or surrender a goal. I couldn’t get my glove around on either of them….
“Obviously, I think they were shooting at his head,” Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said with a smile before making a theatrical throat clear. “They hit him twice, so they must be shooting at his head. There are times you shoot at a goaltender’s head, try to rattle him. I thought maybe after two in a row . . . ”
from Jerry Sullivan of the Buffalo News,
We won’t be at this for even two weeks if Miller gives up too many soft goals. Sure, it’s only one game, one bad goal. It’s a team game, as Miller is always quick to remind us, and the Sabres are the superior team. They’ve been a terrific road team in the playoffs under Lindy Ruff and could ease everyone’s angst by winning two on the Island.
But it’s 1-1 now, and more of a series than most experts imagined. And whether Miller likes it or not, the goalie battle is a big issue. Goaltending is a huge factor in a Stanley Cup series and always will be. Many a Cup dream has gone up in smoke because one goalie caught fire in the playoffs, or because a favorite’s netminder wasn’t quite on his game.
from Mark Herrmann at Newsday,
“It’s not something you want to see anybody go through,” said Connolly, 25, whose concussion last May 8 kept him out until the final two regular-season games and the first two games of the Islanders series.
“It’s definitely an injury I wouldn’t wish on anybody,” said DiPietro, 25, who had two concussions in March and returned to spark the Islanders to a series-tying 3-2 win in Buffalo on Saturday, his first appearance since March 25.
The goalie knows how lucky he is to be back so soon. He called missing a few weeks “torture.” He doesn’t have the words to describe what Connolly went through, given that Connolly also missed a season after his first concussion in 2003.
from Bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News,
Let’s be honest, the Islanders have no business staying with them in this series. Anyone can break down the categories, examine the matchups from every conceivable angle and draw the same conclusion.
Ruff has more than three times as many playoff victories as Nolan has playoff games coached. Ruff is better at making adjustments on the fly. He junked his lines in the second period, shipping listless Ales Kotalik to the fourth line and giving Stafford time with Drury and Dainius Zubrus.
The difference Saturday night was Nolan’s players showed up. The Sabres were absent just long enough for one to slip away. In the playoffs, that’s all it takes.
via the Buffalo News,
Since the Sabres games are usually the highest-rated programs of the week on cable, you might expect Time Warner and the Sabres to accelerate HD coverage.
Gordon Harp, the top local Time Warner executive, explained this week that the issue with HD is available bandwidth capacity. He added that other than a handful of Sabres games, the programming on Versus isn’t appealing enough to devote to HD daily with the current bandwith capacity.
Harp said MSG in HD isn’t available off the satellite but T-W has looked at bringing it in through its fiber system.
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
Shortly before the 2004 trading deadline, Satan scored a goal in a game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at HSBC Arena. Instead of the usual celebration, he took off his glove and put his hand to his ear, mimicking a telephone conversation. In other words, Sabres GM Darcy Regier had better get on the phone and trade him.
This did not go over well with the fans and almost a month later, in the Sabres’ last home game, Satan was chosen the first star. He came out and instead of lifting his stick in the usual salute to the crowd, he waved goodbye. This was a sincere attempt to say thank you for the good times and goodbye but by then the fans were not having any of it.
“Last year it was a little more noticeable,” Satan said of the booing. “It’s a little quieter this year but at least they remember me.”
from the Buffalo News,
This season is different. Anyone remotely connected to the organization knows the Stanley Cup is there for the taking. Buffalo enters the postseason the way it entered the regular season, as the team to beat. The Sabres stood up as the NHL’s best, led the conference virtually wire to wire, and are expected to win it all….
It’s been clear since the middle of last season, when people started to realize the Sabres weren’t just a surprise team but a legitimate contender. Chris Drury made it abundantly clear when he insisted a picture of the Cup be placed on the wall in their dressing room, so his teammates could see the goal.
OK, folks. We’re going to get our feet wet on this here radio thing tomorrow. Our buddy Chris Byrd from In da Buff is going to help us rookies through our premier with his smooth style.
So join Mark, Byrd and me over on WNYMedia.net tomorrow at 8:00 pm as we discuss the upcoming Sabres series with the Islanders and various other sports items. Something tells me we could end up rambling on a bit, especially since there are no laws preventing the consumption of Labatts on the interwebs.
more & good luck guys!
via the Buffalo News,
After all, the Sabres’ meaningless loss to the Philadelphia Flyers’ Sunday afternoon averaged a 16.4 rating and 36 share on Channel 2, the local NBC affiliate. To put that in perspective, the Easter Sunday game had higher local ratings than every network series in prime time Sunday night and almost every program all week.
ABC’s declining “Desperate Housewives,” which may have suffered because it was competing with the final season premiere of HBO’s “The Sopranos,” was in second place Sunday with 14.5 rating on Channel 7. “Without a Trace,” the popular CBS series was third, with a 12.5.
The Sabres’ rating was almost as high as the 16.9 rating for last Tuesday’s edition of “American Idol” on WUTV. “Idol” may be losing audience now because it is so obvious that anything but a Melinda Doolittle victory would be a travesty.
from S.L. Price at Sports Illustrated,
What makes a winner? Considering that this is sport’s central question, the one agonized over by coaches, general managers, owners, parents and fans, considering how winners such as Yogi Berra and Michael Jordan are still revered, it’s remarkable that even those who wear the label find the question difficult to answer. After an initial stab at familiar terms—luck, confidence, hard work—there comes the flutter of ums, a pause and then surrender: “I can’t explain it,” Sakic says of Drury. “I can’t explain what he does.”
Or in the words of Scotty Bowman, who won the Stanley Cup nine times as a head coach and, with the Red Wings, fell victim to Drury’s overtime game-winner in Game 2 of the ‘02 Western Conference finals, “It’s hard to describe. We had one in Detroit with [Steve] Yzerman; they’re not big guys. You look at them game in, game out—and you still don’t know how they can do it.”
read on... long and if you like Chris Drury, you will be happy…
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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