The Buffalo Sabres took it to the brink. They put enough pressure on the New York Islanders the last two weeks where the Isles actually broke into a little sweat. The Sabres didn’t know what was happening in Carolina. Without the knowledge of how the Isles were doing, the Sabres attended to matters at hand and attempted to defeat the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Archives for April 3, 2004
'Buffalo can finish with 87 points, which would be the seventh-highest total among teams not to make the playoffs in NHL history.'
'Yes, there are questions, but now they have far more answers. In that sense, it's progress.'
'"I just think they had more jump than us," Grier said. "It's been a pretty big grind for us. Every game for the last month has been huge. It's been pretty intense and emotional, and I think sometimes that gets to you."'
'To qualify for the post-season, the Sabres had to beat the Maple Leafs and hope that the woebegone Carolina Hurricanes could somehow upset the New York Islanders in a game that started at 7 p.m. in Raleigh. Fat chance. The Islanders had a 6-1 second-period lead by 8:25 p.m. — roughly 20 minutes after the Leafs and Sabres faced off…'.
'The Sabres, who claimed they had no idea what had happened in Carolina until their game was over, went on to lose 2-0 to the Leafs on third-period goals by Chad Kilger and Joe Nieuwendyk. But their fate had already been sealed when the Islanders held off a late Carolina charge and beat the Hurricanes 6-4, eliminating Buffalo from the Eastern Conference playoff race.'
I have a lot of great memories here, so it was nice to get a win like this, he said of his 74th career whitewash. We played great defensively, something we will have to do going into the playoffs.
By defeating the Sabres, the Leafs set a single-season franchise record with 101 points. Yet that total might be good enough for only sixth place in the East, an indication of just how tight the race in the conference is heading into the final weekend of the regular season.
The Leafs, 2-0 winners over the Buffalo Sabres last night are, by my reckoning, close. Start with the superb Brian Leetch, plus-12 in his past 10 games for the Leafs and Bryan McCabe, whose game has risen dramatically with Leetchs arrival at the trade deadline.
Chris Drury is willing to let bygones be bygones. The Buffalo Sabres forward missed two games because of a concussion after being decked by Joe Nieuwendyk of the Maple Leafs during a game March 15 at the HSBC Arena.