Archives for May 2006

Long Suffering Buffalo Sports Fan: Just When I Thought I Was Out, They Pull Me Back In

'Beiter says he was trying to divorce himself from this year's Sabres team saying he just couldn't take it anymore, but he says the current group is just too likeable.'

Loose Sabres won't be rattled

'Where the Sabres are a loose, fun-loving group that soldiers on despite the latest run of injuries, the Hurricanes call players-only meetings to discuss why they did not respond emotionally in their last game.'

Ruff fuels Sabres' motivation

'“Lindy can't stop his tongue from wagging. I now understand why in previous series some of the other coaches [such as Ken Hitchcock of the Philadelphia Flyers] responded in the manner they did.”'

Get out your calculators

'"That was a gutsy performance," said Ruff from deep in the bowels of the HSBC arena after one of the truly amazing hockey games of what has been an amazing playoff spring. "From the five guys playing defence to all the guys blocking shots… what can I say? These guys keep pushing through."'

A Buffalo-sized lie

'On the NHL's official website Buffalo Sabres centre Daniel Briere is listed as 5-10 and 179 pounds. That statement alone is one of the biggest con jobs in modern history. There's is no way possible that Briere is either 5-10 or 179 pounds. Not that it really matters, because whenever Sabres coach Lindy Ruff is in dire straits and needs someone to step up, he turns to Briere.'

Sabres rookie Pominville drawing attention

'Now, with the Sabres roster suddenly depleted by injuries, Pominville is making the most of his added responsibilities. He's playing the point on the power play and last weekend was elevated to a regular spot on Buffalo's top line, centered by Briere. How's that for a player whom the Sabres — handcuffed by a glutted roster — were forced to place on waivers before the start of the season, hoping no one would claim him.'

Sabres dig deep to hold off Carolina

'So for the second straight game, the Sabres’ beleaguered defense sucked it up with a stout effort. Four defensemen played more than 25 minutes again.'

Seats Still Available for 'Canes Game

'"We encourage people to come out because I'd rather see those tickets sold to Hurricanes fans than to see them sold to Buffalo fans who come down and make a lot of noise," said RBC Center general manager David Olsen. Officials say plenty of seats are still available.'

Game 7 provides fitting finale for Sabres, Hurricanes

'In the end, Carolina's biggest advantage could be playing at the RBC Center, where they were 31-8-2 in the regular season and have played in front of progressively louder playoff crowds. In 117 best-of-seven series that have gone to the final game, the home team has won 73 (62 percent), according to the NHL.'

‘Arrogant’ Hurricanes have Sabres motivated heading into Game 7

‘The kicker, Ruff claimed, was hearing that the Hurricanes supposedly had champagne on ice in the visitors’ dressing room before Game 6 on Tuesday night. Fact or fiction, Ruff used that to get his team going. “They are an arrogant group,” said Sabres winger Jason Pominville. “Then again, that’s normal for a team that’s had as much success as they’ve had this year. But to have champagne in the room…we found out before the game and it certainly motivated us.”‘

Bouncing puck, Sabres' D force Game 7

'"Obviously the shot blocking of the entire team is great tonight and we did a really good job of just moving our feet, especially in the D zone," said Miller. "It's exciting that we can play this well when we have to."'

The Sabres have heart and passion

'Every time I watch this team that I covered off and on for a few years while working in Buffalo radio back in the mid to late '90s, it brings me back to the Ted Nolan days, when just watching them play and compete was a blast. The only difference between that crew and this Sabres outfit is that they actually have real talent.'

Sabres' fondest wish is granted

'"This is a great effort tonight," goalie Ryan Miller said. "I think everybody had the right attitude tonight. They were all going to go out and try their hardest, and I think we're capable of great things when we're moving our feet. We started right from the drop of the faceoff. I could feel it sitting back there watching the guys in the first period, watching them go, and I thought tonight could turn out to even more of a spread, you know, we had great chances."'

'Canes know the stakes

'"We were not very good," Laviolette said. "They came out with their back against the wall, they played a real sharp first period, we didn't respond and that was disappointing because we have a lot of veteran players in there. Everybody tried to take it to the next step, we did not respond well in the first period at all."'

A wild win for Sabres

‘”I had about four heart attacks.”‘