Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News,
Drury issued a challenge to his teammates going into Game Four. He said they had two choices: The Buffalo Sabres could curl and cry their way home or they could come back fighting like dogs. He was speaking in his usual hushed tones, but you better believe it came across loud and clear to his teammates.
Stop moaning and quit feeling sorry for yourselves. Show a little resiliency and maybe, just maybe, they could get things turned around before it was too late. Maybe they could strike fear into the Ottawa Senators. Maybe they could do what seemed impossible and win four straight. Maybe there was a little hope after all. “It was the whole locker room, not
just me,” Drury said. “Everybody understood what we were up against. It relaxed us. At some point, I don’t know when it was, but some weight was lifted off our shoulders. It was as loose as we had been in a while.”
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
This doesn’t make it a series.
But one more win by the Buffalo Sabres in this Eastern Conference final and, my oh my, the ghosts of blown playoff opportunities past will mischievously start whispering in the ears of the Ottawa Senators.
Suddenly, there will be a Patrick Lalime sighting. Or Jeff Friesen will be seen taking a tour on Parliament Hill.
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
“We missed out on the party,” said Senators coach Bryan Murray. “It’s disappointing when you lose, especially at home.”...
“We knew there was going to be a bump in the road at some point or another,” said Senators centre Jason Spezza. “We’ve just got to stick with the plan.
“We’ve shown that anytime we play our game and get pucks in deep, we’re the better hockey team. We had a lot of chances late in the second and the third. We just weren’t able to get anything by (Sabres goalie Ryan Miller). That was just a good teaching game to show what we have to do to win.”
from The Maven,
No bragging is permitted at The Maven’s Café Discreet but I must remind you that I did suggest yesterday that the Sabres could win on Wednesday night and, if so, this could turn out to be a better series than the first three games suggested….
Starting today, The Maven will diligently reply to E mails.
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.
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.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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