'It appeared the Sabres' 3-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins smacked them across their collective head Saturday. They have a daunting task awaiting them in the next three days and little room for error. The Eastern Conference series between the Sabres and Penguins shifts to Mellon Arena in Pittsburgh tonight, where Buffalo has won once in the last 12 games.'
Archives for April 2001
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'When team owner Mario Lemieux and coach Ivan Hlinka described Hedberg's emergence as a "surprise," they weren't kidding. The Pens were so surprised to see Hedberg play his way into the starting job that they neglected to make room for the 27-year-old first-year player.'
'Boy, the perception of a hockey team can change dramatically from one week to the next, can't it?'
'Predictably, Jagr downplayed his confrontation with Hlinka. The conversation was in Czech, but sources said both raised their voices outside the Pens' dressing room and it appeared anything but friendly. At one point, Hlinka walked away with his arms folded in apparent disgust while Jagr pointed a stick toward his coach.'
'"It's playoff time, and I'm not going to tell," Jagr said when pressed about the injury. "I know it might look funny to some people, that it's a charley horse. There are some other (injuries) besides that, but I'm not going to tell anybody. … (And) it bothers me that I'm not playing.'
'"They're going to play physical," Penguins left winger Kevin Stevens said. "It's the only way they can play us, I think."'
'But he had a firm opinion on the attention his animated exchange with Coach Ivan Hlinka outside the Penguins' locker room at HSBC Arena before their 3-1 victory against the Sabres Saturday has received: He insists the incident has been blown way out of proportion.'
'"It's that time of year when adversity slaps you in the face, and you've got to come up big," Coach Lindy Ruff said after Buffalo's practice yesterday at HSBC Arena. "Throughout the year, we've had situations where key defensemen were out and we still managed to get some victories."'
'"He's better now at both ends of the rink," Stevens insisted.'
'The numbers weigh heavily against a Buffalo comeback. The Sabres have lost all 15 series in their history when losing the first two games, and they are 1-8-3 in their past 12 visits to Pittsburgh.'