'Alexei Zhitnik, leading Sabres defensemen in playoff scoring, sustained what appeared to be a concussion in the first period Saturday against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Archives for April 28, 2001
'Jagr, who got a charley horse in the second period of Thursday's series opener, did not even feel healthy enough to take part in the pregame skate. The team said Saturday that his status is day-to-day.'
'"Mario's first guy back," shrugs Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff. "That's out of character — that's the commitment they've got to winning now."'
Like a sharp slap in the face after a long peaceful nap, the Sabres have awoken to the harsh reality that nothing will come easy in this series, particularly if they don't pay attention to defensive responsibilities in their own end.
The Sabres need to take advantage of the Penguins' small defensive corps and put a body in front of Johan Hedberg. If he can't see the puck, he can't stop it.
'Goalie Dominik Hasek thought the Sabres' problems were mental: "We didn't work hard enough, and we weren't focused enough for the game. If we want to win four of the next six, we have to change it."'
'But what's this – Lemieux backchecking?'
'Lindy Ruff was not a happy coach after the Sabres lost Game One on Thursday night. You could tell, because he criticized players by name. How in the world could the top two players on his checking line, Curtis Brown and Vaclav Varada, go an entire game without recording a hit?'
'Regier further defended the increases by saying that the hockey being played in the playoffs is of higher caliber and therefore worth the price. He expected all the games would sell out even at the higher prices. He thought wrong.'
'If the Empire Sports Network had been able to televise more Buffalo Sabres games in the first two playoff rounds, maybe the team could have kept ticket prices at a more reasonable level. Empire has already lost $130,000 because ABC took two opening round games with Philadelphia and it is potentially losing three games and $195,000 in round two with Pittsburgh.'