'"He played a great game," said coach Lindy Ruff. "To have a player step in and have as good a first night as that, it's almost like a dream come true. He set up a couple great opportunities, he missed a chance when he walked in alone. There were lots of good things about his game."'
'“Awesome,” he said during the third round of questions from reporters on Wednesday. “I never saw it happening like this.”'
'But Miller later left the game with a bloody nose after Marek Zidlicky’s big shot from the point. The puck caromed off Miller’s mask and as he fell to the ice, the rebound went directly to Jan Hlavac, who scored into the empty net.'
‘Bernier, who was given Campbell’s stall in Buffalo’s dressing room, had time for one pre-game skate with his new teammates before getting pressed into active duty. If Ruff had time to offer a few words, the conversation clearly would have involved a map with a bright red dot placed in front of the opposing net.’
‘”The earliest you can do it is July, and I like to celebrate my birthday in July and just have fun, so I don’t think it’s going to happen then,” Miller said before Wednesday’s game against Nashville. “So there’s no point in bringing it up now. It doesn’t help anything this season, and it might not even be a factor for most of next season.”‘
‘“When your confidence is not where you want it to be and the first shot you make you score, it helps,” said Bernier, labeled an underachiever during three seasons with the Sharks. “I’m glad everything went the way I wanted everything to go. … Yeah, it’s a good start, but nothing is done yet.”’
‘”I came here with no pressure,” said Bernier. “They expect me to play a game. Its only one game. Its tough for me to say anything right now, the next game is against a great team (Montreal). Were going to have to play the same way. Im just happy right now. The past is done, now Im sticking with the future.”‘
‘There was physical play throughout the game with several big hits, fights and skirmishes totaling 65 minutes of penalties.’
‘”He made an impression with the way he carried himself today in the locker room and how he handled himself around a new group of guys,” said Peters regarding the media circus that immersed the right winger. “You can just see that he’s a great guy and great personality. It’s everything you want in a teammate.”‘
‘”It’s only one game, there’s a lot of games left,” Bernier said after the game while also praising his linemates. “They see the ice so well, they skate so well, the only I have to do is make sure give the puck to them and just drive to the net.”‘
‘Most of those “pure” first goals took place in October but some, like Bernier’s, came after a trade; so now seems like a good time to revisit them. The following is an incomplete list. We know we’ve missed some — 16 such goals were scored from 1990 to 2000 alone — so please email us if you have one to add to our collection.’
'But the better of the two Sabres teams, comparing last year's squad and the team the year before, was the team that just missed knocking off eventual Cup Champion Carolina. THAT team may not have had quite the regular season as the 2006-2007 bunch, but it was a team better suited for the playoffs, in retrospect.'
'Miller, struck by Marek Zidlicky’s blast from inside the blue line 3 minutes into the period, looked woozy, and briefly collapsed to the ice. Jan Hlavac, making his Predators debut, scored on the play by depositing the rebound into the open left side.'