Kukla's Korner Hockey
Buffalo hangs on for a 3-2 win and head home down 3-1.
Watch the post game presser.
From Paul Hunter at the Toronto Star,
To understand how the Senators have transformed from choking dogs to doggedly determined, it’s necessary to recall the calamitous events around Christmas.
At the time, no one could have known that the negative circumstances enveloping the club foreshadowed a likely trip to the Stanley Cup final. Such a prediction would have earned only scorn.
from the Buffalo News,
Beating the Ottawa Senators in Scotiabank Place is the only way the Sabres can ensure the Chris Drury- Daniel Briere era continues. A loss eliminates Buffalo from the Eastern Conference finals and puts the franchise in its most uncertain place since the bankruptcy days.
This is likely the final season in Buffalo for one or both of the co-captains, something that’s been acknowledged since last summer. Since Ottawa holds a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven series, the next loss is likely the final game for one or both. They become unrestricted free agents in 6z weeks.
“As I said all year, my focus needs to be on the games, and certainly at this point it can’t be anywhere else and shouldn’t be anywhere else,” Drury said Tuesday. “That’s all I’m getting ready for is [tonight].”
fro TBM at NBC Sports,
Welcome to sports in Buffalo my friends, the city that is the sporting equivalent of Lucy pulling the football away from Charlie Brown. Over and over and over.
It’s not just that Buffalo has failed to win a championship in any major sport, it’s the way the pro teams flame out that has busloads of psychiatrists heading there every time the Sabres and Bills do a swan dive into the concrete.
This latest collapse may be one of the toughest to stomach, because this time the Sabres were heavy favorites to at least get to the Stanley Cup finals after posting the NHL’s best record in the regular season, while leading the league in goal scoring.
from Bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News,
The reality is that Buffalo is all but finished, headed home with barely a whimper. How else can you explain a team that looks discombobulated if not disinterested? You’ll hear all the right things from both teams, how the Sabres never quit, how they’re going to keep coming. In this series, their reputation has been a myth.
If you’re searching for answers, look no further than the only goal the Ottawa Senators needed to beat the Sabres in Game Three on Monday night. It pretty much exemplifies what’s wrong with a hesitant Buffalo group against an unwavering, confident Ottawa team that knows the Stanley Cup is no longer a fantasy.
from Mark Spector of the National Post,
But the question that needs to be asked in a hurry is, what ever became of the Buffalo Sabres?
With a power play that would shoot blanks if it shot at all, and a President’s Trophy winning roster that looks intimidated against the hard-charging Senators, the Buffalo Sabres took one more step toward extinction last night at Scotiabank Place, losing 1-0 to fall behind three games to none in what was once a highly anticipated Eastern Conference Final.
Talk about anticlimactic. The scoreboard may have read 1-0, with Daniel Alfredsson’s second period goal standing up. In reality, however, Game 3 was a blow-out, disguised only by the spectacular play of Buffalo goalie Ryan Miller.
Ray Emery shuts down the Sabres tonight, 1-0.
Watch the post game interviews.
note 9:39pm: Video should be available shortly.
from Don Breenan of the Ottawa Sun,
Alfredsson was booed every time he touched the puck after drilling Henrik Tallinder into the boards midway through the first overtime period. No penalty was called and the hit was decried by the Don and Ron act watching the game from the Party Plaza.
Curiously, the same Coach’s Corner act-alike referred to Brian Campbell charging hard from behind into Chris Kelly about three ticks before Daniel Briere’s tying goal with six seconds left as “the essence of hockey.”
The difference between the Alfredsson and Campbell hits was minimal, as far as we could tell. Alfredsson seemed to come at Tallinder from a little bit more of an angle, but he did knock him into the boards. Campbell hit a guy who didn’t have the puck square in the middle of the back on a play that allowed for a last-second goal. If anyone should have a beef, you’d think it would be the Senators.
from the Buffalo News,
Daniel Alfredsson will line up in his usual spot on the right wing for the opening faceoff tonight. The Buffalo Sabres think he should be lining up for a suspension instead.
from the Buffalo News,
The Buffalo Sabres never have come back to win a series after dropping the first two games. Then again, two teams, including the Stanley Cup champion Carolina Hurricanes, performed that very trick last year.
What does it all mean? Not a thing. Do you want the numbers that matter? Let’s look at those on the back of the jerseys.
9 — Derek Roy: Playing hard but it’s time to ditch the pacifier and grow up. Got a tongue-lashing from referee Bill McCreary for his incessant bellyaching in Game One. Took a bad highsticking penalty in Game Two. Has lost 20 of 29 faceoffs in series. Might want to start pointing the finger at himself.
from the CP via Metro News,
“For us, it’s just about that one game getting us back on track,” Sabres centre Daniel Briere said Sunday after the Sabres rolled into the nation’s capital late in the afternoon after having dropped a 4-3 double-overtime decision hours earlier.
The loss left them in a 2-0 hole heading into Game 3 Monday at Scotiabank Place (7 p.m. ET).
“Last year we won three games here in Ottawa,” said Briere, whose team has won three of its five games on the road in these playoffs. “We had the best season this year on the road, so we know we can play well on the road.”
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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