The Hatfields and McCoys may be smiling from above at what appears a likely rekindling of a similar rivalry, given the familiarity — and subsequent contempt — the two franchises have gained for each other in meeting now for the fifth time in seven years.
Archives for April 11, 2001
Audette, Heinze and Gilmour, the Sabres brought you into Buffalo for the purpose of helping the team advance far into the playoffs. We need you now.
'Nobody can predict what's going to happen in this series, whether it starts in Philadelphia, Buffalo or Bangkok. The Sabres and Flyers are so evenly matched, their styles so similarly efficient, that only the foolish would dare name a winner before the series opens tonight in Philly's First Union Center (7 p.m., Empire, 107.7 FM & 1330 AM).'
'Is Roman Cechmanek in the heads of the Sabres' shooters? Or are the Flyers' offensive players trying to hide the fact that Dominik Hasek is in their heads? Is Hasek in the head of Cechmanek, his Czech countryman? Are Michael Peca and Eric Lindros still in anyone's heads? Is Vaclav Varada in John LeClair's head?'
'In the nets, though, they are not twins. At 6-foot-3 and 187 pounds, Cechmanek has two inches and 22 pounds on his former teammate. Hasek is a chameleon on the ice, transforming from windmill to eel to velcro strip. Cechmanek leaves his feet less eagerly, using his size to shrink the net. When he does drop Cechmanek often resembles a giant tortoise, collapsing on the puck with his full body to eliminate rebounds.'
'Home-ice advantage also will help Philly. That's why the Flyers will win in seven games.'
'Buffalo Sabres coach Lindy Ruff on Tuesday appeared to be leaning toward inserting defenseman Jason Woolley back in the lineup for Game One. Woolley was a healthy scratch the last two games of the regular season, but he has played well in the playoffs in his career.'
'Expectations have always run high with the Flyers in the postseason. Not this time.'
'Barber moved on to the Kitchener Rangers of the Ontario (Junior) Hockey Association. The Flyers made him their No. 1 pick, seventh overall, in the 1972 draft. Two years later, on a line with Bobby Clarke, he was leading the Flyers to the first of two Stanley Cups. "Made us proud," said Bob. "Maybe he'll do it again."'
'Tonight, Philadelphia should and will salute the Flyers not only for having used the third-best record in the East to secure the home-ice advantage over the Buffalo Sabres in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, but also for having persevered.'