'However, after Gilmour played center and scored the game-winning goal in Wednesday's 2-1 win over the Flyers, perhaps, Gilmour has a better understanding of what his Sabres teammates already know: Buffalo needs a fresh Gilmour to succeed in the playoffs.'
Archives for April 13, 2001
'"We don't want to look at it like that, but it's a big game for us," forward John LeClair said after Friday's practice. "We want to even it up."'
Enter Mike Peca. The captain scored 4:32 into Game 1, backhanding one past Tugnutt to give the Sabres a 1-0 lead. Dominik Hasek made 40 saves, including a brilliant stick stop on Alexei Yashin to keep the Senators from tying the game, and the Sabres held on for a 2-1 road win that wrested home ice from Ottawa. If you don't see the striking similarities between the first game of the playoffs in 1999 and the first game in 2001, you haven't been paying much attention.
'Twice the Sabres inadvertently put themselves in position to hand the momentum to Philadelphia, and twice Buffalo's defense – once in the form of Hasek, and once in the form of virtually everyone but Hasek – crushed the Flyers by slamming the door.'
'"We've got to get ugly," Mark Recchi, Philly's veteran right wing, said after practice Thursday. "We need to get some traffic and find the net and do some things that make it difficult for their defense."'
'Philadelphia Flyers winger Mark Recchi claims the Sabres still don't need Peca. "They got enough. They got enough," Recchi said. "They got a lot of good players on their hockey club."'
'Because the home team has the benefit of countering the visitor's lines on faceoffs, the Flyers held the upper hand in dictating matchups most favorable to them. But Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff negated that edge by masterfully switching lines during play. The Sabres almost always seemed to have the matchups they wanted rather than vice versa, and never really got caught making a change.'
'It's no coincidence that when Keith Primeau went out of the Flyers' starting lineup on March 26 with a knee injury, Mark Recchi's offensive game sank noticeably. In seven regular-season games plus one Eastern Conference playoff game since he lost his partner, Recchi hasn't scored a goal and has just two assists.'
'"I think the coaching staff did a good job building up our confidence," veteran winger Dave Andreychuk said. "Once we got that first goal, it was key because we were going into a series against a guy who had played well against us. But we have to put this behind us and not be satisfied. We're looking at a long series here."'
'"I'm very frustrated right now with myself," Gagne, a soft-spoken French Canadian, admitted. "I'm not very happy with the way I play right now."'