The Sabres Observer
by @DaveDavisHockey on 04/15/11 at 10:43 AM ET
It seems funny now that a good portion of fans and media in Buffalo were getting a little offended by sentiment coming from the media in Philadelphia, and for that matter outlets across the U.S and Canada, that Ryan Miller was Buffalo’s only chance to win this series.
If last night is any indication, those out-of-towners nailed it harder than a Chris Pronger slap shot. When his hands aren’t broken, that is.
Forget the odd vote of James van Riemsdyk as #1 star. Miller was the big story in Buffalo’s Game One 1-0 win at the Wells Fargo Center.
In the Philly room, Daniel Briere lamented about his team’s missed chances.
“Ryan Miller deserves credit,” Briere said. “We just have to do a better job getting to rebounds. Maybe we let him see too many shots. Bob was good, Ryan was even better. Their defensemen did a good job clearing the net. That’s an area where we need to be a little more competitive.”
“If we keep playing the way we did tonight, we should be in good shape at the end of the series.”
In the Sabres locker room, goaltending coach Jim Corsi was jubilantly fist-bumping every member of the defensive corps, who bumped back but were too exhausted to smile. At the same time, Corsi was shouting “Un - (expletive) - believable!” like a proud uncle. Having seen that, I can only imagine what he said to his star goaltender.
Miller bailed out his team more than a few times. Steve Montador and Shaone Morrisonn had a rough time of it out there, although Tyler Myers and Chris Butler played a lot of minutes and picked up the slack for their veteran blueline brethren. Rookie Marc-Andre Gragnani, who made a great play to assist on Patrick Kaleta’s goal, stayed calm under pressure and earned himself top four minutes.
Meanwhile, Flyers coach Peter Laviolette got a little testy when asked whether Pronger would’ve made a difference on the power play. I guess it’s understandable when you lose 1-0 in a playoff game and then someone asks you a dumb question.
Even without Philly’s star defenseman, however, the Sabres had a tough time for much of the game getting scoring chances from the dirty areas near the Flyers net. Philadelphia crashed the Buffalo net hard in the first period but seemed to back off a bit after that.
Miller served notice last night that he is up to this. Some of his teammates who weren’t quite up to the challenge will have to come on board in order to prevent the Flyers from winning Game 2 and taking the momentum back.
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About The Sabres Observer
Dave Davis has covered the Buffalo Sabres for various NHL accredited websites and newspapers since 2003. He was the senior writer and Sabres correspondent for The Fourth Period, covered hockey for Western New York Sports and Leisure Magazine, and has had articles featured on NHL.com, FOX Sports, Yahoo Sports and in New York Sportscene. Sabres news and notes can be found on his Twitter page.
Email: email@example.com Twitter: [@DaveDavisHockey]