'The crowd of 12,224 was the lowest opening-night attendance in the seven-year history of HSBC Arena.'
Archives for October 10, 2002
'The Buffalo Sabres are alive and well.'
It has been a plus-minus-type week for the Buffalo Sabres as they prepare for tonights regular-season opener against the New York Islanders.
'The cost of attending a Buffalo Sabres game has risen again for the 2002-03 National Hockey League season with the average price now a few pennies below $38 per seat, a cost that ranks Buffalo 22nd among the 30 teams.'
'"It's the blue-collar type of work ethic we're trying to get back to. The fans like a little blood dripping off the face."'
'The Sabres' average age is 26, with just five players 30 or older – Patrick, Stu Barnes, Rob Ray, Jason Woolley and Alexei Zhitnik, who turns 30 today.'
'The only Sabre ever named league Most Valuable Player? A goalie. The last Sabre to earn NHL Rookie of the Year? A goalie. The position to bring the most trophies to the Sabres' offices? Goalie. The only Sabre to have an NHL trophy named for him? A goalie. The key player acquired in the 1970 expansion draft? A goalie. The star of the first regular-season game in team history? Yup, a goalie again.'
'"The commitment everybody made in the offseason the year before, with some people coming into camp who didn't dedicate themselves in the offseason, it told a whole different story coming into the year that it was going to be push, pull or drag a lot of the time," Ruff said. "This year, we don't have that scenario. From a man-to-man standpoint we had guys come back in fabulous shape. They made some big gains in every department."'
'Outlook…Buffalo will surprise the hockey world and slip he playoffs as the East's eighth seed. But Ken Hitchcock's revamped Philadelphia Flyers will summarily bounce the Sabres in the first round.'
'"I've got a contract for a year," Ruff said. "There are players that have that, that are in the last year of their deal. They expect to have a good year. I expect to have a good year. I don't look at that. I just concentrate on one thing, and that's making up for what we did last year."'