Buffalo Sabres defenseman Jay McKee has been chosen as the teams nominee for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy by a vote of the Buffalo chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers Association. The Masterton Trophy is awarded under the trusteeship of the PHWA to the National Hockey League player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.
Leonard exemplified these traits in his essay where he states he "eats, drinks, and sleeps hockey." A sled hockey player, Leonard has skated on the Sabres home ice in the past, where he described the experience as being a "Great Feeling". A true fan, Leonard has a room full of Sabres related items including blankets, pillows, books, cups, keychains, a clock and hockey sticks. Plus a large collection of jerseys.
'A Sabres win and Islanders loss would put Buffalo a mere point out of the postseason with two games left for both teams. But the excitement created during the Sabres' charge would disappear with an Islanders win and a Sabres loss, which would put Buffalo five points out with just four available.'
'"He just stretches your neck and head in different ways and massages it and really digs in there deep to loosen up the muscles for any tension or strained muscles," Connolly said. "It helped out a lot. It's a good thing that I went out there and tried it. It's hard to explain the year that I've gone through. It's just good to be back out there."'
'G Martin Biron is 4-0-1 and has allowed five goals in the last
'Still, the Sabres have been an unnerving presence in the Islanders' rearview mirror. Buffalo owns a five-game unbeaten streak. It has trimmed an 8-point deficit on Feb. 29 to 3 points with three games left for both teams.'
'''It's hard to explain the year I've gone through,'' said Connolly. ''In the beginning, you're just kind of waiting to get back. And one month turns into two months and turns into three months. And it creeps into your head, `Will you ever be able to come back?''''
'The Islanders host Montreal while the Sabres are playing in Manhattan. Scoreboard watching time? Absolutely. ''We're going to look up,'' Sabres center Daniel Briere said Tuesday. ''I think it's a good thing. It's extra motivation.'''
'Ruff again showed his frustration for the length of time it's taking Ales Kotalik to get back. Ruff said, "Chris Drury returned quickly from the same injury, but I guess it's just pain tolerance." Kotalik has been out since February 15th.'
Speaking about a photo finish, the Sabres are taking this right down the wire. The Sabres, by beating the Columbus Blue Jackets 6-0 Monday night, climbed to within 3 points of the 8th place New York Islanders.
'The Islanders will try to end a two-game losing streak Wednesday at home against the Canadiens. The Islanders will visit the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday and welcome the Philadelphia Flyers in Sunday's season finale.'
'There is a smell of desperation about the Sabres. They’re waiting to have a fork stuck in them, and the fork could come any day now. It could have come last night, with the Blue Jackets wielding the silverware. But it didn’t.'
'“It's as tight as it's ever been,'' Biron said. “We've clawed ourselves back there. And we've got to look at it as a little step. But you haven't done anything until you close the deal.'''
'"We're at our best when we're skating, and we have really fast lines and we've gotta utilize our speed as much as we can," Roy said. "We were throwing pucks to the net tonight. We were working well down low. We kept moving, so it was a good job by our line."'
'The Blue Jackets looked completely dominated and it showed especially in the final period.'