Just no defence for state of affairs in Maple Leaf land

'"This is the only time this place is electric," one press-box veteran said, as the crowd warmed up by alternately cheering and booing someone from Buffalo, advertised as the lead singer for some rock band, who butchered both national anthems. Memo to you, too, pal: Get some vocal lessons. And learn how to memorize lyrics.'

Buffalo 5, Toronto 3

'“I think we're getting an idea of what we can be,'' Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said. “The team has really played well offensively.'''

Buffalo 5, Toronto 3

'"I like what I'm seeing now," Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff said. "I said I didn't really know what we were, but we're getting an idea of what we can be. Guys like playing with each other, guys have some chemistry now."'

Pregame Warmup: Sabres vs. Toronto

Tonight’s contest will mark Buffalo’s 131st game against Toronto … The Sabres are 67-46-17 against the Maple Leafs and Buffalo is 3-5-2 against the Maple Leafs in the last 10 meetings but is 7-1-2 in the last 10 contests at HSBC Arena

Sabres activate Boulton; demote Pittis

'Boulton, who led Buffalo with 178 penalty minutes last season, has been out since breaking his left thumb in a fight during a training camp scrimmage last month.'

Leadership? Drury shows he's game

'"He's been a gamer," Ruff said, "in every sense of the word."'

Afinogenov chafing in street clothes

'"I thought his puck support was poor in the games he played. That all leads to negative shifts. We know he's got some tools, and we've got to get back and get him working."'

Sabres vs. Maple Leafs

'Rory Fitzpatrick leads the team with a plus-4 rating.'

Drury gives Sabres an edge

'"I still think of myself as a young player, but I have been around the block a little bit and hopefully I can pass along some of that knowledge to the younger guys," Drury said. "I can't imagine what it was like last year (when the Sabres were engulfed in financial woes before being bought by Tom Golisano). Everyone is pretty charged up now."'

Buffalo routine shuffled

'Coach Pat Quinn, who is aware of the team's dismal 2-12-3 record at the HSBC Arena, has tried everything short of voodoo to change his team's fortunes.'

Maple Leafs watch

''"I heard some of the guys talking about (past problems in Buffalo) but I don't get caught up in past history. This is a different team," he said. "I don't think that stuff should be in our heads."'

Hustling Taylor earns his minutes

'Shift after shift of hustle. Shift after shift of efficiency. Shift after shift of non-descript yet oh-so-solid play.'

Sabres aren&#8217t Wild about effort in loss on home ice

'“The road trip takes a little bit out of you,” McKee said. “I know guys were a little bit winded tonight. “(We’re not) gonna sit here making excuses for ourselves,” he said.'

Special teams trip up Sabres

'The Sabres fell to 0-5 when giving up the first goal. They're 5-0 when they score first.'

Spunky squad developing Razor's edge

'Forget what happened Tuesday night against the Minnesota Wild. Tie that 3-1 defeat to an anchor and drop it to the bottom of the lake. The Sabres were spent and out of sorts, a predictable state considering they'd been home less than 36 hours following the longest road trip in franchise history. It wasn't until the third period that they even began to find their legs.'