Entries with the tag: buffalo sabres
One of the great things about the Stanley Cup playoffs is when a seemingly marginal player takes the hockey world by storm by putting together a spectacular post-season performance.
It happens virtually every year. Names like John Druce, Paul DiPietro, and Dave Lowry come to mind when I think of players who came out of nowhere to catch fire for a brief two-month period, never to be heard from again. Last year, Sean Bergenheim was the Cinderella story, while Ville Leino turned the trick the previous season.
The problem with an average player displaying remarkable scoring prowess during a short playoff run is that it raises expectations. John Druce was nothing more than a checking forward when he potted 14 goals in 15 playoff games for Washington back in 1990, but the 24-year-old’s impressive post-season binge changed his career forever. From that point forward, he was expected to be a goal-scorer.
After a lengthy bout with laryngitis (not ideal for a radio broadcaster), I’m looking forward to the holidays. Something tells me the Buffalo Sabre players are, as well.
I can’t remember the last time a hockey team was lambasted like the Sabres have been over the past 11 days. That’s probably because I can’t remember the last time a team’s star goaltender got run over by a charging forward, only to have the goalie’s teammates stand by idly, watching the guilty player escorted away from the fray with a smile on his face.
Granted, Ryan Miller isn’t having a stand out season, but he’s still one of the elite netminders in the game. He’s a consummate professional, and in many ways, he’s the face of the Buffalo franchise. And even though Jhonas Enroth is a more than capable replacement, the fact that Milan Lucic was allowed to steamroll a Vezina Trophy winner with no consequence is a disturbing development.