Kukla's Korner Hockey
via the Toronto Sun,
He said he never intended to rile the top-seeded Sabres by questioning their status as a legitimate Cup favourite before the series started. Renney’s line “they’re not the cream of the crop” was gobbled up and spat out by media and players alike in these parts.
“You have to be more calculated in what you offer up,” Renney said. “You’d expect the same from your players.
“I’m most disappointed because those weren’t my words. I was asked the question, ‘Do you think Buffalo is the cream of the crop?’ The answer was misconstrued. But (the fallout) is like sticking a tennis ball up a tail pipe.”
fro The Maven,
Right now, my Blueshirts in five prediction is teetering on the brink of overconfidence, not to mention the 5-2 loss.
Maybe overconfidence was the cause of the opening game defeat in Buffalo, although I prefer to go back to the warning I posted right after Tom Renney’s lads swept Atlanta last week.
Namely, that the worst thing that could have happened to the Rangers was the four-straight wins, only because it gave New York a much-too-lengthy sabbatical.
From Mark Herrmann at Newsday,
There is nothing like a little hatred to get a team going in the playoffs, according to Sabres coach Lindy Ruff. In other words, if Sean Avery didn’t exist, they would have had to invent him.
You could say that this was a classic case of an agitator agitating in reverse, although no one did say it after the Sabres beat Avery and the Rangers, 5-2, in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference semifinal. Neither side acknowledged that by talking big before the series, Avery might have stirred the Sabres into something bigger.
On April 23rd, Sean Avery appeared on MTV’s TRL for a short interview. Nothing too serious: a few words about guys losing teeth, a few words about wearing another man’s underwear and charging tourists for pictures, etc.
You know how it is… just a typical day with Sean Avery.
P.S. For a flashback to Avery’s appearance on MTV’s Cribs last summer, you can check out that video on YouTube.
from David Kolb of MSG Network,
It seems like everyone in New York, N.Y. has forgotten that the other New York team, 400 miles northwest, is the team to beat.
Expectations must be high, if the Sabres disappointed so many scribes and television analysts while eliminating the Islanders in five games.
Conversely, the Rangers swept the Thrashers in four and are now the darlings of the hockey world.
And yes, it’s easy to jump on the Ranger bandwagon - as so much of U.S. and Canada’s hockey fans, writers and analysts have done - after their four-game annihilation of Atlanta.
Ranger fan or not, it is great they are in the playoffs!
from the New York Times,
Renney expressed doubts that the Sabres, who finished with the league’s best record during the regular season, were the “cream of the crop.” And the voluble Avery said he would be out to “hurt” the Sabres.
“It’s psychological warfare,” Buffalo goaltender Ryan Miller said. “I don’t think anybody in here is going to play that game.”
He added: “We’re just going to worry about hockey. We’re not going to worry about the off-ice, in-between-whistles stuff, which is apparently what they’ve already started.”
Tom Renney and Brendan Shanahan participated in an NHL tele-confernce today.
Q. The Sabres seemed to make a bit of a deal out of a comment that you made yesterday about them maybe not being the cream of the crop. Could you characterize what you said and what your intention was?
TOM RENNEY: Well, when asked what I thought about the Sabres, I answered as, you know, I’m not sure. I wasn’t sure if they were the cream of the crop. But I do know one thing, they’re an awfully good hockey club and we’ve got a tiger by the tail.
From my point of view at least, nobody will know who the best team in the National Hockey League is till sometime in mid June.
Q. Just looking at the Sabres team, they’ve got a lot of speed. What do you think you need to do in order to contain them?
TOM RENNEY: I think a couple of things. We certainly have to match their speed if we can with our own attack and force them to have to play defense naturally. I think we have to try to keep their power play off the ice and play a real disciplined game within or game plan in general, and really stay poised and not allow frustration to be part of our game plan. This is a team that can capitalize on mistakes or miscues. They really do have a terrific transition game. We have to try to, as much as possible, eliminate that from their game.
from The Maven,
By rights, I should never let emotion get the best of me when it comes to predicting Stanley Cup playoff series.
Granted, I lost it the other night, suggesting that the Rangers will sweep the Sabres.
That’s a stretch; but there’s no doubt in my mind that the Blueshirts will beat Buffalo – and I’ll make it in five games.
The Rangers have better goaltending – Henny Lundqvist over Ryan Miller – and have jelled at the right time.
from the Buffalo News,
The New York Rangers haven’t had a game in six days, so their players have had a lot of downtime to fill. Avery has been using his to visualize his opponents in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
“I’ve just secretly been making up things in my head about guys on their team that they’ve done to me so I can identify with them when we’re going in a corner,” Avery said Monday in New York. “I’ve already decided I hate all those guys, so we’re not going to have any problem with that.”
Hate is a common word when discussing Avery. His peers named him the most hated player in the NHL in a poll by the Hockey News, and he won in a landslide. Avery got 66 percent of the vote while Nashville’s Jordin Tootoo placed second with just 6 percent.
from the Buffalo News,
The Eastern Conference semifinal between the Sabres and New York Rangers will start Wednesday, and both teams have a player who fills an important niche. The Rangers have Jagr, one of the most potent offensive players of his generation. The Sabres have Chris Drury, who earned Selke Trophy votes this season as the NHL’s best defensive forward.
It would seem logical for the Sabres to make sure Drury is on the ice whenever Jagr is. But the Sabres enjoy making other teams adapt to them, so coach Lindy Ruff said Monday he will not alter his game plans just to make sure Drury and his wingers shadow Jagr and his linemates.
“No. No,” Ruff said. “We didn’t do any changing on the fly this year. We didn’t pour anybody over the boards. We’ll get matchups that we like.”
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