'The common denominator? Against the best, Drury is very average. Hurricane Rod Brind'Amour — who finished third in faceoffs in the regular season a year ago — ate Drury alive in the seven-game series, winning 54 of 86 draws.'
Archives for April 16, 2007
'When they host the fifth game of that opening round series, the Sabres will have welcomed 841,050 people into HSBC Arena this season. Only the 1998-99 edition, which made it to the Stanley Cup finals, and the 2000-2001 team, which made it to the second round of the playoffs, accumulated better attendance marks.'
‘It just hasn’t felt like the playoffs yet. In fact, the Sabres’ lone preseason game at home back in September had more emotion than the first two games against the New York Islanders. I’m not trying to exaggerate a point, in fact, that is the point. These playoffs feel like preseason compared to what we grew accustomed to last spring.’
'The Sabres are stacked from top to bottom, but it’s the top that has coach Lindy Ruff’s attention. The No. 1 line of center Daniel Briere, left wing Jochen Hecht and right wing Jason Pominville — who combined for 85 goals and 134 assists in the regular season — has been subpar. Briere, the catalyst, has just one shot in each game.'
'The Sabres are the Cup favorites for a reason. The one looming question is whether Miller can play at a consistently high level in the playoffs. He was great at times a year ago in his rookie playoff run. At other times, he was merely average. He was not a difference-maker in the conference finals against Carolina.'
'“I think sometimes your game almost simplifies on the road,” Ruff said Sunday. “We have a lot better tendency of having a more basic game when we get on the road. You try to drive that home. If we take care of the little things, we’ll have success.”'
‘The first night the Islanders arrived in Buffalo last week, he steered the coaching and training staffs to dinner in Lombardo’s Ristorante on Hertel Avenue. “We want them to get a taste of Buffalo,” said Timms, who is engaged to a local woman, Anne Uba.’
' can't see it happening, but a first-round loss by the Buffalo Sabres to the New York Islanders would be as demoralizing to many sports fans in western New York as the Bills losing four straight Super Bowls.'
‘Much like he did during last year’s playoffs, Kotalik has disappeared in the first two games of the first round this season.’
DiPietro’s Return Has Islanders Optimistic About Playoffs (New York Times)
To Nolan & Isles, Yashin’s just another fourth-liner (New York Daily News)
Yashin on ice as Islanders knot series (New York Post)
Yashin’s benching is nothing new (New York Newsday)
Concussions get inside your head (New York Newsday)
DP fired up over return to ice (New York Newsday)
Isles look to ride DiPietro to another win (Sportsticker)
(1) Buffalo Sabres (1-1) at (8) New York Islanders (1-1) (The Sports Network)
Game preview (NewYorkIslanders.com)