Sometimes payback comes a day late. Just ask the two Sabres who wanted to come up huge against Dominik Hasek Friday night in Detroit. Instead, they came up with their best games Sunday as they helped the Buffalo Sabres beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-1 in a matinee game.
Archives for October 14, 2001
'Along with snapping a four-game home losing streak against the Penguins dating to April 1999, the Sabres also beat Pittsburgh for only the second in their last nine regular season meetings.'
'The Buffalo Sabres are adjusting to life without their superstar a lot better than the Pittsburgh Penguins.'
While the Buffalo Sabres boast sound depth throughout their lineup, questions remain whether or not a single player will take the baton from Dominik Hasek and emerge as a true catalyst — a player they can consistently count on to win them games with a key goal, a big save or a smothering physical presence.
'"It's falling asleep during the game," Buffalo defenseman Rhett Warrener said. "When you take a shift off, those shifts can kill you. The way the league is nowadays and how tight it is, any little mishap can be the difference in the game."'
'Buffalo is loaded with young players who are approaching or within waving distance of their primes, and most of those primes are just starting. Yes, they are without their superstar, goalie Dominik Hasek, and one of the league's best defensive forwards, Michael Peca. But sound drafting through the last five or six years prepared for that. What we have now is the potential hockey version of baseball's Seattle Mariners.'
'Aside from the season opener, the Sabres have held a lead in the second period of every other game.'
'The boos continued when Wilson would visit Buffalo in a different jersey, but he said things have simmered down. He admits that when he plays in Buffalo he wants to make the Sabres sorry they traded him, but he doesn't bear a grudge against the fans. "I grew up in Toronto, and I was all over every defenseman or every guy who ever played for the Leafs," Wilson said. "It's part of being a fan. You pay your money and get to voice your opinion. And they're paying all our salaries. They can say whatever they want. I don't ever hold anything against the people of Buffalo."'
'Lemieux looked sharp and appeared to have the jump back in his stride.'
'He even has fond words for his old employer and a Chamber of Commerce perspective on life in western New York. "The organization gave me a chance to come in and play my first [pro] year," he said. "Maybe some other place, I would have gotten buried in the minors or something. It's a great place to live. I think it's a pretty underrated place."'