‘Peter Forsberg showed why he’s considered one of the best hockey players in the world. Embarrassed after two road losses, Forsberg scored two goals and Robert Esche made 26 saves to give the Philadelphia Flyers some home-ice tonic in a 4-2 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Wednesday night.’
Archives for April 26, 2006
‘”We had to respond after what happened in Game 2 in Buffalo,” Flyers head coach Ken Hitchcock said. “We have to play to win. We have a tendency to make things interesting in the end but we did some good things tonight.”‘
'The Sabres are 11-1 all-time in a series when they've won the first two games.'
'The Sabres skated circles around the Flyers and got 58 shots in the opener but needed double overtime to win because Flyers goalie Robert Esche stood on his head. Then Buffalo ran all over Philadelphia in Game 2, scoring twice in the first three minutes, five times in the first period and eight overall. In other words, the Flyers haven't shown they have any way of slowing the Sabres down.'
‘The concerns about how the young Sabres would stand up to their opening tests of the postseason have vanished. “It was more the people on the outside who thought that,” Sabres rookie right wing Jason Pominville said Tuesday. “On the inside, we know what we’re capable of. We’re a young bunch of guys that give an honest effort every night. So far it’s been good, and hopefully it’s a ways to go.”‘
‘”I think maybe the benefit was him getting the couple weeks off late in the year,” coach Lindy Ruff said. “He looks as fresh as training camp to me. He’s been solid, he’s been quick, just very reliable and very few poor decisions.”‘
‘Philly is an overmatched, poorly conceived team. Watching them flail around in the first two games, it was hard to fathom how they got 101 points. The greater mystery is how Bobby Clarke keeps his job as general manager. It’s as if he intended to construct a defense uniquely ill-suited for the new NHL.’
‘”I think part of it is the focus goes away from his players,” Ruff said. “But I think Hitch is right. I’ve got to focus on my team and how I want them to play, and that’s where it’s all going to lie. I was emotional, he was emotional. I’m over it.”‘
‘”The Sabres are the best team no one knows about. Not many people know about our players. But they can all skate and pass and they are having career years. They’re young enough to continue to have career years. There isn’t a guy who can’t skate and handle the puck. You can play physical hockey, but you can’t hook or hold. If you take penalties, they’ll eventually kill you.”‘
'But for the Sabres, there's only one thing they must do. "We've just got to play," Roy said. "You've got to bring your level of intensity. But you can't get too excited. You've got to take it as another game."'