'"It's a gut-check for us every time we play them," the Buffalo enforcer said. "You notice all the Leafs sweaters in our building. They bring the best out of us and I think (the opposite is true)."'
'This time, the Sabres failed to score with a two-man advantage late in the game.'
'As unsuccessful as the Toronto Maple Leafs are at HSBC Arena, the Buffalo Sabres are not much better at Air Canada Centre.'
There is never a dull moment when the Buffalo Sabres and Toronto Maple Leafs clash in Buffalo. Friday night the hockey fans of the two neighboring cities held a Christmas party at HSBC Arena and it was one of the most festive parties they celebrated in years. While the fans were mixing it up with good cheer in the stands, the Leafs and Sabres were putting on an exciting show on the ice as they skated off with a 3 all tie.
'"There's a lot to like about the performance Mika put in," Ruff said.'
'Also somewhat surprising was the exclusion from the Russian squad of Sabres winger Slava Kozlov, a former teammate of Russian GM/coach Slava Fetisov.'
'A series of questionable calls in the third period helped the Sabres rally for a 3-3 tie. "I don't think either team knew what a penalty was," Leafs coach Pat Quinn said.'
'After Buffalo hosts Ottawa on Feb. 8, Rigas will fly Satan to Utah immediately after the game on one of his private planes. Satan will then play for Slovakia Feb.9 against Germany, after which Rigas will whisk him to New Jersey for a Feb.10 Sabres' game against the Devils – how could Satan miss a date with the Devils?'
'"It looks like you've got a couple of veteran referees out there (Dan Marouelli and Kevin Pollock). There were some questionable calls both ways and then it seemed like it was makeup calls the rest of the night."'
'Whether it was at the old Aud or the new Alphabet Soup Arena, anything east of the Peace Bridge has been no-man's land for the Leafs for more than a decade.'
'The fans and the media are distressed, but veterans, many of whom have been through other on-ice and off-ice calamities, aren't yet ready to give up the ship.'
'The Sabres are getting a look this week at the other piece of the Michael Peca trade with the New York Islanders after winger Taylor Pyatt, son of former NHLer Nelson, was called up to join centre Tim Connolly. Pyatt, chosen eighth overall in the 1999 draft, had two so-so seasons with the Islanders and only recently reversed his form in Rochester of the AHL.'
''On the one hand, the Leafs fought back from a poor second period to go home with a 3-3 overtime tie. But on the other, the Leafs have only themselves to blame for not going home with a win.'
'Those were referees Dan Marouelli and Kevin Pollock who seemed to want to be part of something that was not theirs. They called 17 penalties in a game which deserved half as many. In the third period especially, the referees made syncopation out of the wonderfully steady rythmn the players had been creating.'
'Noronen, 1-1-1 as a starter in three of the Sabres' last four games, has allowed eight goals in relief of starter Marty Biron.'