Commentary, news, analysis and reader-driven discussions focusing on this year's Stanley Cup playoffs.
Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez? Please. A milquetoast feud, at best.
Rosie O’Donnell and Donald Trump? Well, we admit that battle has a little bite.
The Buffalo Sabres and the Ottawa Senators?
Welcome to Defcon 1.
Familiarity has bred contempt between these two organizations, which have seen enough of one another over the last 16 months that they could be roommates on "The Real World." Buffalo and Ottawa have played 22 times since the NHL returned from the lockout in 2005-06, including last year's rock-em, sock-em, playoff series, which saw the Sabres win in five games, the finale being a series-ending 3-2 overtime win in Ottawa. Three of those five games were decided in overtime. Now these teams will meet in the Eastern Conference finals. Get ready for a bumpy ride, Mr. Bettman.
What happens when these two Northeast rivals get together? Coaches curse, goalies brawl and blood flows, specifically the blood of Sabres center Chris Drury, who missed four games with concussion-like symptoms after Ottawa winger Chris Neil's blindside hit left him with a 20-stitch gash to the forehead when the teams played on Feb. 22 in Buffalo. There was no penalty called on Neil (he said it was a clean shoulder hit), nor did the NHL fine him. Justice was meted out on the ice. The play sparked one of the wildest brawls in recent memory. (Go ahead, hellions, click here for all the action ). Two nights later, Ottawa pulled out a 6-5 win on Jason Spezza's second goal of the game. That gave the Senators a 5-3 advantage in the season series.
While Ottawa cruised past New Jersey, the Sabres needed to work to excise a pesky Rangers squad. Sunday's 5-4 win at Madison Square Garden was the first time the road team had won a game in the series. The Sabres survived terrific pressure from the Rangers in the final period, who never stopped coming until the final horn sounded. Ultimately, Buffalo advanced, thanks to a strong second period in which the Sabres scored four times in 10 minutes and finally looked like the flying circus that led the league in scoring. Drury (as usual), Daniel Briere and Jochen Hecht had strong games, as did goaltender Ryan Miller. His second-period glove stop on a tricky slap shot from Rangers defenseman Fedor Tyutin –- it came with just over five minutes left in the period -- allowed the Sabres to enter the final period with a two-goal lead. That was huge: Buffalo is 41-0 this season when leading by two goals after two periods. Alas, statistics were not on the Rangers' side. Only 38 of 193 teams that lost Game 5 in a 2-2 series had come back to win the final two games.
The Garden fans saluted the Rangers effort after the game by classily chanting "Let’s Go, Rangers" and "Hen-rik, Hen-rik" in homage to goaltender Henrik Lundqvist. Equally classy were the Rangers players saluting the fans after a tough defeat. Such love won't be in the air with the Sabres-Senators, but the games should be just as tight. As Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said last year, "Every game could have gone either way."
If you ask most Sabres fans, Ottawa is the team that scares them the most. Few teams can skate with the Sabres, but the Senators can. Few teams have four lines that can score, but Ottawa does. The Sabres led the league with 308 goals. Ottawa was second with 288.
It should be a terrific series. Let the hatred begin.
posted by SI.com | View comments |
The thing that is most worrisome is that the NHL does not want the Sabres to advance being a small market team. The Sabres will not go down so easily. Despite all, they will prevail. So good luck Ottawa and take your best shotawa, cause your just one more pesky task on the way to the Sabres ultimate goal, the Stanley Cup. One more thing, Brett Hull seriously needs to leave NBC! I hate watching the games on there, knowing I will see his loser face, with his child like attitude, and pointless comments. He brings nothing to the show.
Emery..DiP..Lvndy..What can we notice about these "elite" goaltenders?
Another traditional exit at the gloves of the Sabres!
This series will be better than the Stanley Cup Finals.. it's cant-miss TV!!!
Ottawa has been the second best team in the East all year. If Emery keeps it together the Sens will be tough to beat. On paper I think Ottawa is the better team but I think the the intangibles favor the Sabres. If Buffalo wins the first two at home they will advance, if Ottawa gets one then the Sens play for the Cup.
I'm a Sabres fan and I feel like the rivalry became official this year. After we bounced them from the playoffs last year I felt bad for their fans. I don't live too far from Binghamton so I watched Emery, Spezza, Vermette, Volchenkov, etc in person and actually supported them and was glad to see them perform on the big stage. Now, I don't care anymore. Venom is a good word for the feelings now after what transpired this season.
They are a dangerous team and I'll admit that they do strike fear into Sabre fans, especially being under the radar this year. Still, I remember feeling this way last year after they dominated the season series.
The Sabres are on a mission this year. They obviously won't sneak up on Ottawa like last year, but they will not be denied of Lord Stanley's Cup in 2007.
chris neil better watch his back
Life has many options, but watching every game of this series is not just an option. It is a necessity.
These two bitter rival will make the Eastern Conference finals almost more fun to watch then the Stanley cup finals itself. Both teams are going to burning and gunning for each other even more then before...especially now that getting to the Stanley Cup is on the line. But of course, you already knew that.
Let the Battle Begin.
don't forget that Ottawa is now Canada's team for the rest of the way.
This is going to be the best series of the playoffs. Hopefully Sugar Ray Emery will beat up on Miller. Sens in Six.
GO SENS GO.
This is going to be the best series of the playoffs. I think the Senators will win because not only do they have four lines that can score, They can also play physical, or defensive hockey as they displayed in the Pitsburgh and New Jersey series respectively. Also, I'm hoping for Sugar Ray Emery to beat up on Miller
the only downside to the east finals is the possibility that they render the cup finals anticlimactic. if the two teams do a repeat of last year, when every game could have gone either way, but make it an epic 7 game struggle, is the eventual winner emotionally gassed for the ultimate prize? my team will come out of the west, but given the playing styles of the sens and sabres, and their recent ugly history, i will be glued to every game of this series.
Dont forget that Ottawa doesnt do anything in the playoffs anyways and should feel fortunate every team this during this years playoffs have laid down for them.
Do they even speak ENGLISH up there?
In addition to both teams being high scoring they also keep the puck out of their own net. Both teams had a +66 goal differential for the regular season. Should make for a great series with a ton of fast hockey - Go Sens Go!!!!!!
BRING IT!!! Hockey needs an exciting , hard hitting, trash talking playoff series to bring new fans into the sport! The series between Buffalo and Ottawa during the regular season was always great and the brawl to end them all.. Wish I was at that game to see it all go down in person! GO BUFFALO!!!! (thanks for taking out those fawking Rangers!)
Buffalo's just another speed bump on the way to the finals. Sens in 6 bloody games.
I think i can speak on the behalf of all Sabres fans when i say that we have waited all year for this!
Nice article, Richard, on Buffalo vs. Ottawa. Should be a great series. I'm originally from Buffalo, but I like the Senators, too. Only downer was your last line "Let the hatred begin." Better: "Let tough, but clean, competition begin."....D.Crandall, Salem, MA
Does anyone read this drek before they post it. Breeded? And it is in the first line of the actual story! Not like you have to hunt for it!
Hockey writers must the the lowest form.
they will be replayin this series over and over again on ESPN Classics until the end of the earth, its going to be a good one..go sabres..
Ya know why Canada exists? Because WE let it. Go Sabres!
I thought "hatred" was the perfect word for it, this series will not disapoint either side, but Buffalo wins in 7, they are to strong for the Sens and really the sens have one very good line and 3 ok lines, so let's everybody stop saying they can roll 4 lines, 'cause they can't...
The Sabres are 3-0 all time in playoff series versus the Senators. Expect that trend to continue. LETS GO BUFFALO!
The Senators are going to reveal to the world the crybabies they really are, during this series.
"Whaaa! we got smoked last year by the sabs..whaaa! we can play clean hockey we really can! whaaa, i dont speak English..whaaa I just pooped my pants!."
Sabs in 5,just like last year..
alfie=yashin, they both have no heart. And it will show in this series.
This will be a great series as the two best teams in the East will be fighting it out. With the addition of big body Zubrus, Mair playing great hockey and with the return of the Goose, you can take the "more physical" equation out of the Sens arsenal. Also, every Sabre will be looking out for "from the blind side" Neil so he should be negated just like Avery was. This will be a great series with Buffalo and home ice prevailing in 7. Let's go BUFFALLOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!
To "8:23 PM, May 06, 2007"
Please leave the persecution complex off this blog, dude...Your post sounds like a copy/paste from that drama queens column in the Buf News, Jerry Sullivan...And drop the WNY cliches, too...It's Buffalo "fans" like you that give a GREAT town a bad name...Poor, poor, Buffalo...Woe is me...How pathetic is it that the national media's only stories about Buffalo, when the hockey team is absolutely phenomenal, are ones of the persecuted Bills/Sabres fans?
The NHL doesn't want a small market team to advance?...90% of NHL teams are small market...The NHL itself is small market...
Why are you picking on Brett Hull?
Oh Yeah, ..."NO Goal"...Waaaah!
You, Sir, bring nothing to this blog...
Not that it should matter, but since you brought it up...
point of order:
The Sabres best player speaks the worst English of any player on either team. Apparently this fact has been lost with some posters. The Sens have one French-Canadian on their team and the guy never speaks. Unless of course the posters were referring to the Foreign players not speaking English... oh wait... The Sabres also have more of those guys too.
Explain to us why Chris Neil should watch himself? Who's gonna make him pay? I think you'll find this series to be tamer then everyone expects. Neither team rolls 4 lines consistently and NO ONE expects Briere, Afinogenov, Drury, et al. to be mixing it up with Heatley, Spezza and Alfredsson. This series will come down to whose 2nd line plays better.
I'm not a fan of either team but I am rooting for the Sabres to win this series, since I consider Detroit's 96-97 story one of the best in recent memory, and the Sabres' story this year is very similar. Also, from what I've seen from Ottawa in the playoffs this year they play clutch-and-grabfest hockey. I'm sure the players felt they had to buy into that sort of system to avoid previous playoff failures, but I feel as if it would be bad for the sport to have a team that plays that way win it, now that the NHL is finally recovering from the dead-puck Devils era.
Oh, and, try to not boo the Canadian anthem, Sabres fans.
Ottawa is finally playing with the type of intensity you need to move on in the playoffs. They finally realize what it takes to win. The city of Ottawa and all of Canada is cheering for you guys! Get'er done boys! Sens in 6!
Nice to see Sabres fans still hate and have no respect for any other teams. For JD-Buffalo, learn English yourself before sending a blog that is difficult to understand. My 10 year old son speaks 2 languages better than the 1 that you claim to speak. This will be a great series, physical, tight checking, and awesome goals I'm sure from both teams. But, Ottawa is a different team than any past team. They're confident and ready to take whatever the Sabres can throw at them. Senators in 6. But you're all invited to the Cup celebrations here in Ottawa in a few weeks.
Whose 2nd line plays better? Buffalo's "4th" is better than or at least equal to Ottawa's 2nd. When the hits are tallied, Ottawa will be hurting. When the final goal count is tallied it will be in the Sabres favor. The Sens have had a good ride, but they're season ends here. Ryan or Emery?
Ryan Miller hands down!
Nice to see that Buffalo fans still hate and have no respect for any other teams. And for JD-Buffalo, you should learn English yourself before posting a comment that's diffcult to understand. My 10 year old speaks 2 languages better than the 1 that you claim to speak. This will a great series, physical, tight checking and some pretty goals. The Sentors are NOT the same team as past years. They're confident, and ready for anything that Buffalo can throw at them. They've learned from the past and have the best coach in the league for this exact type of scenario. Senators in 6.
GO SENS GO!!
Dude..."Ottawa doesn't do anything in the playoffs"...when was the last time the Sabres won the cup??? Ummm how about never! Taking it further, when was the last time ANYTHING good happened to B-LOW??? Wide Right, Hull's skate, Music City Miracle...its all good and its all Buffalo. But I do feel bad for you because no matter what happens you still have to live in Buffalo...sorry. Go Sens Go!!!
Sabres have a great team!However if your coach and the fans that visited us last year are the best example of sportmanship please keep you wings, snow or anything else that you think will win the cup. Go Sens or anybody from the West. Dave Raleigh,NC HOME OF THE 2006 STANLEY CUP CHAMPS! THATS RIGHT!!!!!
Wow. After I just read all most of the blogs, I felt like I was back in the cafeteria in 3rd grade again.
I'm now more dumb than I was before, after reading these blogs. Thanks mongrels!
maybe its the water they get from the backside of lake ontario, but would someone explain to why there are no buffalo fans here that seem to be concerned that their team is not playing its best hockey right now?
you definitely can't say the same thing about the senators.
i understand the blind loyalty and chest thumping but the sabres definitely looked beatable against two very inferior opponents.
as for the emery versus miller debate... the statistics contradict the entire premise of your argument. miller's numbers are no better (and maybe worse) then emery's and he's played against two teams with WAY less firepower then the Pens and Devils.
i seriously can't pick a winner between them... and the 2nd line vs. 4th line debate is completely ridiculous. the name of the game is defence. who's going to check the Spezza line? can any sen keep up with briere? its easy to say that the sabres roll 4 lines when they've played against teams with barely two lines.
close series no doubt...
Sabres can't keep both Drury and Briere over the summer, so this may be as close as they get for awhile. GO SENS.
The Sens have 4 lines that score? Check out the playoff goals, you have one line (a VERY good line), maybe 2. If you want to talk about 4 lines, look at Buffalo. All the 30 goal scorers, plus Connelly and Afinogenov being injured during the regular season. Buffalo rolls 4 lines, and if they don't get pulled into playing the Sens game they'll advance in 6.
Miller will fold under the pressure of the Sens. Sabres will fall in 5 just like the Pens and the Devils.
Sens flying under the radar still. Most people in this blog thinking Buffalo will win. Exactly what the Sens want to see.
Go Alfie. Go Heater. Go Spez. And everyone else on Sens! Keep doing what you're doing. Keep doing what got you here. You're never going to get respect, but a Cup will make up for it.
Hope to see Neiler get a Gordie Howe hat trick too.
I'm a huge Sabre fan and must admit, I'm worried about this series. The Sabres haven't exactly been playing real physical lately. With Goose back with Mair, it makes me feel a little better. I don't know why everyone talks about the Sens four lines scoring, when the Sabres lines are more skilled. It'll be a tight series but Miller beats Emery in the end. Sabres in 7.
"Oh, and, try to not boo the Canadian anthem, Sabres fans."
I take it you've never been to HSBC Arena in Buffalo, have you? We sing (yes, actually sing) the Canadian National Anthem even when we DON'T play a Canadien team. We consider it a sign of respect considering our neighbors-to-the-North are only a bridge ride away.
Every town has its idiots, but I think its fair to say that the majority of both Ottawa and Buffalo fans are passionate AND decent.
This will be a great series; the winner will end up eliminating whomever the West sends to the finals.
Let's Go Buffalo!!
I'm a huge Sabre fan and must admit, I'm worried about this series. The Sabres haven't exactly been playing real physical lately. With Goose back with Mair, it makes me feel a little better. I don't know why everyone talks about the Sens four lines scoring, when the Sabres lines are more skilled. It'll be a tight series but Miller beats Emery in the end. Sabres in 7.
For those of you who are saying that Ottawa is going to win... I laugh... the best thing about being from Buffalo and being a Buffalo Sabres fan is the honesty in which the Sabres play and the honesty of the fans. Miller will never fold under pressure, that we can be sure of...
Oh and when you Ottawa fans are finished sulking that Buffalo won the cup, be sure to come on over... our bars stay open till 4am...that will give you plenty of time!
We believe Buffalo!!! Lets Go!
GD - Buffalo, NY
I like that the pro-Sabre CNN is still upset over the clean hit by Neil, and no mention of the coward Peters taking on a goalie (Emery) after he had just finished off the other goalie in a brawl (big man to fight a goalie in the first place). Peters doing that is one of the worst things that you could do as a player (even worse than diving, which used to be the worst thing that you could do), and much worse than the clean hit by Neil. If I were a Sabres player, I would spend less time admiring my passes and more time looking over my shoulder.
Sens in 5
GO SENS GO!!!
for you that say ottawa does not have a second or third line. you do not watch a lot of hockey! both teams have the line,ability,aggression.goaltending thats why this will be the best hocky we will see in years. GO SENS GO
I wonder who the Toronto fans will support. I can't stand the fact that Canadians are calling Ottawa Canada's team, keep on hating Ontario we thrive off that.
Sabres just took care of all the other new york teams, what makes you think canada is going to be a problem? Sabres are on a mission. Sabres in 5. Will take on the ducks for the title.
Hey 1229, not sure if you can say that we played two inferior teams. While the Islanders aren't that great, the Rangers played better than pretty much every team over the last month. DiPietro and Lundqvist aren't exactly stiffs in the net, either. The Rangers series may have been a little easier had Lundqvist not played the entire thing standing on his head. Also, not so sure the Devils have more "firepower" than the Rangers, as you claimed. Does anyone score on that team besides, Parise, Gionta and Gomez? And talk about claims that lack foundation, how can you say Buffalo isn't playing their best hockey right now? Did you watch the last 11 minutes of Game 4, or Game 5 where the Sabres dominated the entire game (outshooting NY 40-23) or their breakout performance right now.
The one thing I'd worry about if I were Sens fans is Emery's propensity to lose his confidence in the playoffs. Happened two years ago in Binghamton. Happened last year against Buffalo. If that happens again this year, it's gonna be the same old story where all the Sens fans claim that this year's team is different, but the result stays the same.
First off I am a Sens fan (live 5 minutes from Scotiabank Place), but I also respect the Sabres. I love rooting for the small market teams and Buffalo has built an excellent team and deserve all the credit they receive.
This series is going to be the bomb. I don't want to belittle the teams in the west, but as far as I can tell the winner of this series is going to take the cup this year.
These 2 teams are so well matched it's not funny. I do believe the Sens are going to take this in 6, but I really don't believe that anyone can make any guarantees.
I'd like to say this to the Alfie=Yashin=no heart poster. Have you watched even a SINGLE Ottawa playoff game this year? Alfie is hitting, hustling and doing everything right. Your comments are completely without merit. There is a reason why he is being considered the favorite for the Conn Smythe should Ottawa win the cup. I still like Yashin since he did bring us Zdeno Chara and Jason Spezza while costing the Islanders a truckload of money.
Go Sens Go. I'll see your Sabres in Game 3. They better bring some earplugs because it's gonna be loud!
The Anonymous Blogger, Forgot "this is the NEW NHL !!! "
The Ottawa Senators have the Stamina and the brains to represent CANADA, The U.S. Counterpart is The San Jose Sharks, I hope they Can Beat Detroit Chicken Wings , (Joke ) Chelios Chili (ha )
The Sabres just advanced by a goalie who is exponentially better than Ray Emery. Sabres in 6.
I'm a buffalo fan and i respect the sens...that being said buffalo will win. The sabres came so close to the finals last year there gonna do what ever it takes to win. Let's Go Buffalo,
Oh yeah Drury is amazing!!
For the moron who stated that Buffalo has no Championships...the Senators have 0 as well...and Ottawa doesn't have any other sports teams that matter.
So, by my count, that's zero to zero. And don't count the ones from the early 1900's, because that was a different franchise. Toodles. :D
On that Bret Hull comment....I agree, he needs to lose his primadona attitude and focus on objective comments....he made a comment about European born players not having a GREAT hand-eye coordination because they play Football (soccer for americans) well Bret, if they can do the stuff they do with their feet, dont you think is easier to do it with your hands? Apparently your acumen on this matter is limited by your close-minded attitude.
It's time when the boys get seperated from the men and Ottawa is a bunch of over grown boys.
NBC and VERSUS both need to understand that Buffalo are where they are because they earned it, they worked hard and deserve the position they are in. Brett Hull needs to get a life. His NO-GOAL in 1999 Stanley CupPlayoffs is Still a NO -GOAL you freakin monkey. The guy does not belong on National TV period.
Hats off to Lindy Ruff & The team for all they have done. Now it's time. Time to Bring Home The Stanley Cup!!! It's been a long time waiting. We all are ready. Mabe Niel can get a taste of his own medicine from Zuby! Ouch.
LETS GO BUFFALO!!
WE WANT THE CUP! 2007!
Its time to seperate the boys from the men.
Ottawa is a bunch of overgrown boys.
Yes Buffalo. The men that have made a point.
They are #1. So NBC. VERSUS, Get with it.
Buffalo has better players than Sidney Crosby
who is not in the playoffs. Not to mention he is
a boy! Now lets get ready to Rock The House!
Its time to bring home The Stanley Cup!
LETS GO BUFFALO, WE WANT THE CUP!
This is going to be a great series, and if the NHL wants to take another step forward they better market their hearts out over this series. The West final will be boring no matter who is involved, and Anaheim will take either team in 5 or 6 games, and all 3,000 of their rowdiest fans will be loving it. However, here in the East we have the new NHL's greatest rivalry with two teams and fanbases that love to hate each other. I'm a Sabres fan and HATE the Sens, but they scare the **** out of me. And any Ottawa fan who is "confident" that they have the better team has not watched the president's trophy winning Sabres. This series will be incredible, and I can't wait for Game 1.
P.S.--To the poster who called the Bank loud, I think you need to take a trek over the border to see real passion for a hockey team.
Dear Sabers fans,
Unfortunately with all your motivational blogs, you all know that Ottawa was the team with most wins against the Sabers this year and that was during the regular season when Ottawa was still not playing to their full potential. At this point in the playoffs, as per Ruff, the Sabers have not been playing good consistent hockey and Ottawa has been playing the best hockey amongst all the teams. So good luck.
I predict Ottawa in 5 and then the Stanley Cup finals will end up being Red Wings and Ottawa.
GO SENS GO!
Sabres fan here....first, no one in Buffalo has ever dissed the Canadian Nat'l Ant., Buffalo isn't NYC! On to the series! There have been some really good blurbs about this series, and a couple knuckleheads. These are two of the best teams in the new NHL, very evenly matched, and both teams have their own playoff futility to deal with, neither team has ever won anything. If I was a Sens fan, I'd love that they stunk up the first part of the year and have been hot since Jan. They've been playing great, and scare the b-jesus out of me. The Sens are in the conf finals for a reason. Skilled team, 2 bonafide superstars in Heatly and Spezza, solid defense and goaltending, balanced, fast, just a very good team. NOW...the Sabres, and I'll try not to be too biased. Anyone who really likes hockey should love this team, no superstars, work hard in the corners, play fast and skilled, roll out 3 lines consistantly and a solid fourth one, solid defense, solid goaltending, a few clutch players. They are the most fun team in the NHL to watch. Plus, they are on a mission. It's been mentioned above that they are not playing their A game in these playoffs, agreed. Doesn't that scare you Sens fans? You know with the animosity between these teams, they will be playing their A game. There is no blow-out in this series, it will go 6 or 7. Here is why I like Buffalo, Miller and Drury, they are winners. Where ever they go, they do what it takes to win, plain and simple. Miller doesn't get the credit but if you watch the Sabres, he makes a couple of stellar saves a game because our defense pinches in and he gets odd-man rushes often. He'll never have a sub 2 GAA with the way the Sabres play but the guy just wins, did in college and did in the AHL, and has done it in the NHL. I don't think I have to talk about how clutch Drury is. Tough series, Spezza and Heatly are scary but the Sabres are deep, motivated, and will fulfill their mission. Like I said before 6 or 7 games with the Sabres winning.
Sabres vs Senators should be the best series in the playoffs. We all know it will probably be a fight and then a hockey game may break out. Sabres in 6.
All the talk about small market teams. HMMM...Sabres may be small market but who sold out every game this year? Buffalo. Whose merchandise sales are up 657% since last March??? Buffalo. Whose jersey is only second to Sidney Crosby(Pittsburgh Penguins)??? Ryan Miller, Buffalo Sabres. See a trend?
NBC, WHY? WHY? WHY? Why is Brett Hull on your show. He doesn't reflect any type of good feelings for a team he helped beat back in '99 and shows too much anymosity on tv. If you beat them, GET OVER IT. Hull is not even close to being as professional as Ferraro or Clement. He obviously doesn't like the Sabres but he needs to remember that he is looked up to as an idol by his fans, it doesn't look good to have such a poor attitude on national tv. Keep your comments to yourself or get a job elsewhere doing something else.
It's very disappointing that he has such a bad attitude. Ray Ferraro and Bill Clement are first class. Let's get Rick Jeanneret on with those guys. At least he doesn't trash talk any team in the league regardless if he dislikes them. He has more self respect than Hull.
Familiarity breeds contempt and contempt breeds hatred. It will be a hard-fought series, but I truly think Buffalo can and will win.
I leave you Sabre fans with four words that have been the mantra for our team all year long:
"One TEAM, One GOAL!"
Ottawa has been the best team in the East since the start of 2007. The way I see it, Ottawa will be hockey's version of the Indianapolis Colts this year. They're a team who has had the weight of expectation on them for a couple years now, only to have them fall back a bit in the playoff seedings. Before the playoffs many people pegged the Penguins to bump off Ottawa, yet they adapted their game to entirely neutralize their offensive threats. They had to revert to constantly running Emery to generate offence, which didn't work. Then the next round many figured Brodeur would stymie Ottawa like be did in 2003, yet they remained patient and grabbed opportunity when it came about. This round the Sens are matched up against Buffalo. I figure that Ottawa is going to expose Buffalo's defence with it's voracious forechecking. Ottawa has been playing tremendously well so far, and I expect that to continue.
Frank, learn how to spell SABRES.
How about this bet Buffalo: Loser gets Garrioch (as in Bruce Garriouch from the Ottawa Sun). That would truly give both teams something to WIN for.
Sens in 7 - we are all in for one helluva ride.
Steve - Ottawa
P.S. - Buffalo - you can have the jock sniffer (Lee Versage) for free...
Keys to an Ottawa Victory:
- Establish a strong forecheck and wear them down
- Contain their speed through the neutral zone
- Big Guns continue to deliver and secondary scoring steps up
- Special Teams continue to deliver
- Emery comes up big
Ten Reasons Ottawa will win:
- They have the significant edge in special teams
- Their big guns are producing more than those of the Sabres
- The Sabres are feeling the pressure of being "The Team"
- Ray Emery has proven he can answer the bell
- They are a better defensive team than Buffalo
- They are the only team in the East that can contain Buffalo's speed
- They are more physical and can wear down the Sabres
- The Sabres are coming off a more draining series physically and emotionally
- The Sabres think they can just roll through the playoffs on their speed, skill, and talent alone when in fact, they are going to have to fight for every inch and play an ugly style which they seem to be incapable of playing
- Through the playoffs the Senators have shown greater leadership from the guys who are supposed to be showing it
First off, I would like to say that this may be the best series we have seen in years. Bad blood has already spilled this year and these teams need no introduction to each other. All the bulletin board material a team needs can be found back in february. The forwards are a tricky thing to compare. Ottawa has the best line in the series without a doubt. The thing is the Sabres don't have a number 1 line per say. Any one of 3 lines could legitimately be considered the first line. Both teams possess 12 NHL caliber forwards, and forwards 1-3 goes to Ottawa, but 4-12 is heavily in Buffalo's favor. One line, even as spectacular as that one, will not be as effective as 4 legitimately solid lines. Have to give Buffalo the nod there.
On D, both teams are 6 deep here as well. The losses of Chara and McKee have not hurt these organizations much at all. Perhaps more so in Buffalo's case because Mckee was the closest thing they had to a phyiscal defenseman. Ottawa is good on d all around, puck movement mixed with enough physicality to make them a solid unit. Not many stupid mistakes coming from either squad, but the complete lack of pjysicality gives the Sens the nod here.
For my money, the goaltending is where the series will be decided. Ryan Miller is a better goalie than Ray Emery, plain and simple. I don't care about numbers, stats don't tell the whole story. The all-around composure Miller shows makes me feel like he will be a very good goalie in this league for quite some time. Emery seems like he is one Pominville goal away from being exposed for his lack of lateral movement like he was last year. The Devils scored amongst the fewest goals in the East all season and Pittsburgh was simply no ready for playoff hockey. If Ray Emery is anything less than great then the Senators will be leaving the party in the same fashion they did last year.
The other intangibles to consider are the fact that Ottawa has been playing their best hockey and Buffalo has been playing well but not great. Buffalo will be motivated here though as they feel that they were robbed of their first cup last year and they are still livid over the Neil hit on Drury.....clean or not clean will never be settled. Coaching also comes into play here, and Buffalo may have the best in the business in Lindy Ruff. Bryan Murray isn't hurting the Senators by any means, but Ruff just brings out the best in guys. Also, the Chris Drury factor. Honestly, would you rather have Chris Drury in a game 7 or Daniel Alfreddson? Don't kid yourselves Ottawa fans. If this is his best playoff hockey then you already know the answer.
With all that being said...Sabres in 6.
It would be nice if Buffalo played with a little more physicality and consistency. With the familiar rant about their "four line depth" you would think they would play with greater intensity from horn to horn. If they can do this against our friends in Ottawa, I think they will take the series in 7. Also, Miller needs to wake up and not get so comfortable once a lead is established.
Since one of the anonymous posters brought it up... How is this year's Buffalo like the Red Wings of the 96-97 season at all? The Sens of this year are more like them.
- The team labeled as regular season overachievers who choke in the playoffs
- Rumours of the Captain being traded occur in the preceding off-season
- Goaltending controversy arises early in the season
- The team plays a very good regular season but are not the best
- In the conference final, they finally defeat the nemesis who has caused them trouble in past playoffs
In fact, now that you got me thinking, The Sens of this year are exactly like the Red Wings of 96-97. And what was their result again???...oh yeah!!!
GO SENS GO!!!
Alfredsson is a good player and a class act. Spezza and Heatley no so much. Neil is a gutless punk. The defensive core is pretty solid and filled with stand up guys. Too bad the hopes of Canada rest on a team that has more than its share of whiny ass titty babiees.
"WE BELIEVE" GO SABRES
I love the poster talking about how it was unsportsmanlike to Peter's to take on Emery in that fight. You know what was even more unsportsmanlike, the rest of the Senator players sitting back and watching it happen, too afraid to do anything about it.
Because of this lack of team unity...Sabres in 5.
The Senators are classic chokers. Get your Heimlich maneuver ready, Ottawans, because here it comes again! Go Sabres! Buffalo in 6.
I don't think it's going to be a fight filled series at all. Sure the potential is there, but these teams are going to want to stay out of the penalty box.
Let me just say...being a Sabres fan rocks! I have only lived in Buffalo for a short time, but I have been sucked in by Sabres fever! The passion that Buffalo shows for this team is amazing! I can't wait until the series begins. The Islanders and Rangers were just a warmup.The real fun starts now. GO SABRES!!!!!
I agree with the previous person who said that Brett Hull brings nothing to NBC. He is incredibly childish with some of his comments. I think the Sabres are going tyo beat the Senators in 6. Go Sabres!!!
I love how Sens fans are making it seem like they have no pressure on them this year. Well, sure, you haven't trailed yet in a series. Let's see how you answer the bell after you lose Game 1 at HSBC. I have a feeling the media and the fans will start to get a little tense after that.
Ben C., while many of your "points" and "reasons why the Sens will win" are arguable at best, and eggregiously incorrect and speculative at worst, I will focus on two of your erroneous assertions:
1) "The Sabres think they can just roll through the playoffs on their speed, skill, and talent alone when in fact, they are going to have to fight for every inch and play an ugly style which they seem to be incapable of playing."
Umm, do you mean like the two series they just got done winning in five and six games, respectively? All that comment does is affirm to each of us that you have watched a total of zero Sabres playoff games so far. Both NY teams tried to play a defensive, clog-the-middle style against Buffalo. Each was summarily dismissed. Terrible argument by you.
2)Here's my favorite: "Through the playoffs the Senators have shown greater leadership from the guys who are supposed to be showing it."
Oh right, because Drury, the captain, has showed no heart or leadership in this playoff. Is that what you're arguing? Because if it is, you've just assured yourself of nobody ever taking you seriously again. Or are you referring to Briere's lack of leadership in getting three assists yesterday in the clincher?
Who cares if Ottawa won five of the games this season. To the person who argued that Ottawa hadn't even hit its stride during the season when it was beating Buffalo, half the games Buffalo played against the Sens they were missing several key regulars. I bet you're really excited about that 6-5 win over Buffalo in Ottawa after the brawl when you barely beat the likes of Mark Mancari, Michael Ryan, Clarke MacArthur, and Patrick Kaleta. Look at the guys Buffalo was missing that game that will be playing this series: Drury, Afinogenov, Zubrus, Gaustad, Spacek, Tim Connolly (who was owning you in the playoffs last year before his injury). Congratulations on beating Buffalo's minor league club that night, though. Bet it was gratifying.
Man, after playing DiPi and Lundqvist two series in a row, Buffalo is going to feel like the net just expanded a foot in each direction. Goal judge behind Emery is going to get a workout.
I think it will be a great series. Aside from the Niel Drury thing and such, I think both teams match up when it comes to scoring. As a Sabres fan, I know Buffalo has 4 lines of quality scoring but the threat of the Sens top two lines may be an even matchup. As much as it will be an offensive series, the deciding factor will be how well the goalies play. Goals will be scored but the most skilled of goaltenders will prevail. I hold my trust in Miller to get things done and send the Sens packing. I say Sabres in 6! Lets go Buff-a-lo!
should be agreat series, the hotter team is gonna win it and right now that would be the sens. senators in 7
Are Sen fans able to comment on here? Do they have fans?
Sabes in 5
Buffalo only plays up to the their opponents. They control their own destiny - they are that good.
They can turn it on and off when they want. I think in a weird kind of way they were taking it easy the first two series, saving up for the cup.
Too mnay injuries last year held them back. Ruff wants these guys peaking at the right time, which is half way through this series against Ottawa. The man (Ruff) is a genius; took the whole Rochester farm team and turned them into professionals.
Sabres in 6 vs Ottawa.
Sabres in 7 vs Detroit in the Cup.
This is the year things start turning around...has to happen sometime!
I've waited all my life for the Sabres to win the cup. Ottawa is classless and dirty. Granted, they are playing well but I'm glad the experts are predicting Buffalo to lose. Bring it.
LET'S GO BUFFALO! SABRES ON THE WARPATH!
It is quite evident from the way they have played in this years postseason, that the Senators are fed up of May failure. Last year's loss to the Sabres, which in reality they had stolen from them by Ryan Miller, was the final straw for this team.
They have gotten sick and tired of failing come this time of year, and more over, of losing to Buffalo. The entire second half of the year and the first two round have all been leading up for this perfect moment for Ottawa-revenge on the young cocky Sabres.
Sabre fans are saying that Buffalo wants the cup more than anything, and will let nothing stand in their way after 06's letdown. How quickly they forget though that the Sens have suffered far longer. In my humble opinion, there is no team left in the playoffs more determined to finally get their mits on that hallowed trophy more than Ottawa, and are not about to let the Sabres stop them this time.
Sorry Buffalo, but you will have to wait your turn.
"the coward Peters taking on a goalie (Emery)"...
I think the real cowards were the Sens on the ice during the fight. If that was the other way around, and it was a Sen coming after Miller, you'd better believe that the Sabres on the ice would take him out before he got one punch in on Miller. The Sens were to scared and hurt to help there goalie.
That being said, why are people saying Islanders and Rangers are crap that the Sabres should have tore apart? Its a whole different level of hockey in the playoffs. A few bounces here, like Roy hitting the post in OT game 4 and bouncing out, and the Sabres could have swept the Rangers. A few bounces for NJ and it would be Buffalo-NJ right now. Sometimes things look harder, or in the Sens case easier, then they really are. (Like looking at game 5 which the Sabres won 2-1 in OT). It wasnt that close trust me.
It will be a great series. I hope Mair rocks Spezza in the face again.
Sabres in 6!
As a Sabres fan, I must admit this series scares me. To most Sabres fans, this is our cup. Honestly, whoever wins this series may not have the gas when they advance. For the posters who are basically saying Buffalo got lucky against the Rangers, you're right they did. But, every year there's a team of destiny..is this Buffalo's? After all, they did beat NY by only playing about 20 minutes of good hockey.
How can anyone say that the Sens are the better team here? On paper? How? The Senators could only handle the Sabres when they were decimated by injury and were almost an AHL team.
This series, with Buffalo healthy, will show that Ottawa is a second class team. It will be a competitive series, but make no mistake, Buffalo will dispatch the Sens with at least 1 game to spare.
Personally everyone can stop the jabber and let the games decide who wins. All this trash talking gets us nowhere and makes you all look like a bunch of morons, moreso the Sens fans than the Sabres fans. The score has been settled 3-0 in past series against the Sens. Sabres are on their way to the Stanley Cup. No doubt it will be a good series, but please, who are you kidding? Let the teams decide, not the ignorant comments.
First of all - I love that this series has gotten fans on both sides spitting comments, regardless of whether they are true or not - that is one of my favorite things about sport - I have been covering the end of the European soccer seasons and the Champion's League and the passion in the fans and players and coaches is intoxicating.
This series between the Sabres and the Senators should bring that smae level of passion - being in a bar in Buffalo when Drury scored the tying goal in game 5 against the Rangers was just the appetizer - Bring on the fire, this is going to be a great series!
Look, to say either team will not have enough gas after this round is ludicrous! The Sabres-Sens will be off 4 & 5 days before they even drop the Puck for Game 1! There will probably be 4 or 5 days off before the start of the Stanley Cup, so Buffalo can rest and beat the hell out of the Ducks.
But before we get there, lets talk about Ottawa. This is going to be a great series, but the difference is going to be goaltending. Emery is an average netminder that gets streaky hot every now and then. The NJ series was a joke. Brodeur looked like he never played in the playoffs before and the goals Emery let in were soft too. Miller has proven he is a clutch netminder and one of the best in teh league. Some blogger previously mentioned he needs to wake up when he has a lead and protect it. The fool forgot to mention that the other 5 guys get lax and don't help.
And then on to the toughness factor. The Goose is back. If Neil so much as breaths wrongly on someone, he is going to go down.
Sucks to the NHL for makings us wait until Thursday for this series. Sabres in 6
The battle of Queenstone Heights was fought between Canada and the US in the Niagra area. We won that battle...we'll win this one.
While the Big Three account for 16 of the Sens' goals in the playoffs, we have 17 goals from other players. Also, the Big Three scored 4 GWGs, and the rest of the team scored 4 GWGs. The fact is that we have goals from 14 of our 18 skaters; only Phillips (our shutdown d-man), Schubert and Saprykin (4th liners), and Schaefer (in a bit of a funk) haven't scored. Hmmm, no parity here, eh?
Now look at Buffalo's numbers. They have 16 goals from 3 players (Drury, Vanek, and Pominville -- Briere is racking up assists, but not goals), while the rest of the team has 18; those same 3 have scored 4 GWGs, while the rest of the team has scored 4 GWGs. (And don't try appealing to the fact that these 3 players play on different lines: in PP and must-score situations, Ruff shuffles the lines and pairs his top skaters together.) Finally, 13 of their 18 skaters have goals. Wow, what a huge difference from the one-line-wonder Sens...!
I think one factor the Senators fans are forgetting is that against New Jersey they were playing a team who just lost the coach who had carried them most of the way in the regular season. The move by Lamoriello is confusing and I think detrimental to that team. No way to really know if that was something that hurt New Jersey or not, but I think the results say 'yes.' Sabres beat a team that was peaking at the right time in the Rangers who brought a lot of passion. They weathered that and will weather the Senators.
Get the fights out of the way in game one and then just focus on hockey on what should be a series that goes 7 and will be fantastic to the finish. With Ottawa winning.
Is Ottawa a city or village? 2 things are hot in Buffalo , wings and Sabres !
Rock 'n Roll, Baby!
It's gonna be fun.
Sorry, Buffalonians, but having been a resident of Ottawa, I've got to pick the Sens... in a Battle.
EMERY IS NO LUNDQVIST.....SABRES CRACKED LUNDQVIST.... PLUS EMERY HAS NIGHTLIFE ON HIS MIND RATHER THAN ECF... THAT SAID SORRY OTTAWA BUFFALO WILL WIN JUST BECAUSE OF HIS REMARKS...
Sorry, but I have to add a little something after this particular posting:
"Dont forget that Ottawa doesnt do anything in the playoffs anyways and should feel fortunate every team this during this years playoffs have laid down for them.
Do they even speak ENGLISH up there?
Actually, other than producing some of the best hockey players to ever play the game we occasionally speak English and unlike your chicken wing eating brethren we also learn how to write proper sentences. For example your message should have been written as follows:
“Remember, Ottawa has a history of fading in the playoffs. Ottawa should feel fortunate that all the teams they have played during this year's playoffs have laid down for them.
Do Canadians even speak ENGLISH?”
Now that your question has been properly phrased I will attempt to answer it. First off, yes we do speak English; although you may have difficulty understanding proper English (it appears that you prefer using some barbaric version of the language). Secondly, Ottawa will beat your Buffalo Sabers convincingly, much like they did this year. It should however, be a hard fought series. Please to provide little old Linda with plenty of handkerchiefs, Ottawa is about to give him plenty to cry about!
If you have watched the Sabres playoff games at all, you know that Vanek has always played on a line centered by Roy, and that Zubrus has been the right winger on Drury's line 99% of the time (because they were shadowing Jagr for a good portion of the series). So, Pominville, Drury, and Vanek, nor any pairing of that line, has been on the ice at the same time, with the small possible exception of a special teams situation.
The lines the Sabres have used:
(the * being the latest four lines used)
Dude said : "The battle of Queenstone Heights was fought between Canada and the US in the Niagra area. We won that battle...we'll win this one."
Yeah you won alright. You won the right to be Englands North American BEEOTCH for another 200 years. Whoopie, Let's put another country's queen on our money.
Sabres in 4
great comment and great point:
"Congratulations on beating Buffalo's minor league club that night, though. Bet it was gratifying."
Yeah they beat the Buffalo americans in a gratiying 6-5 victory
Good Luck Ottawa your in for an eyeopener
Watch Zubrus anilihate Neil like he anilihated Jagr...
This is funny...some of these comments are taking jabs at Canada..here's 10 reasons your a person who isn't too bright if your team is Buffalo and you dis Canada!!!
All Canadians Eh!!!
Here's why Sens win..
Ottawa leads the playoffs with a 22.7% power play success rate. Buffalo ranks 8th at 15.2%.
Ottawa's penalty killing in the playoffs is ranked 7th at 86.0%. Buffalo ranks 12th at 79.6%.
Buffalo Hit Leaders- Toni Lydman (138), Dainius Zubrus (113) and Paul Gaustad (105)
Ottawa Hit Leaders- Chris Neil (288), Anton Volchenkov (205) and Mike Fisher (195)
Faceoffs- Vermette leads in the playoffs at 59.8%.
Playoff Shot Block leader- Ottawa- Volchenkov
Highest Scoring Defense in 2007 playoffs- Ottawa
- Ottawa's Dany Heatley ranked second in the league with 50 goals in the regular season.
Top Team in 2007 playoffs with multiple scorers- Ottawa with 17
Top line in 2007 playoffs- Ottawa- Spezza, Heatley, Alfredsson, 37 points in 10 games.
Most (shots against) allowed by a team in the 2007 playoffs..
The list goes on...Ottawa in 6 easily.
People talk about the Sens having four lines that can score, but what about the Sabres who have almost no dropoff from first to fourth lines if you want to try to number them. Sabres will take the most intense playoff series in years in six games.
WHOPEEEE SENATORS BEAT A PENGUINS TEAM THAT HAD A DAMAGED KEY PLAYER.. CROSBY BROKEN FOOT...
SENATORS DEFEATED A DEVILS TEAM THAT HAD FIRED THIER COACH 3 GAMES PRIOR TO PLAYOFFS AND ALSO- NO OFFENSE TO DEVILS FANS- MARTY'S GAME IS STARTING TO SLIP BUT HEY THAT'S WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU GET OLD.....AS FOR THE AUTHOR OF THE LIST WHY SENS WILL WIN... SABRES HAD TOUGH SERIES WITH ISLANDERS AND RANGERS THIS SHOIULD BE A CAKEWALK FOR THEM...ALFE WILL DISAPPEAR AS WILL THE SENAOTRS
People in border towns like Buffalo have every right to poke fun at our neighbors. You guys are like our brothers. You know the handicapped one mom and dad keep chained in the attic.
We know who has the real strip clubs and Buffalonians are grateful for that as well as the players you gave us and of course the beer. I love duty free beer.
Sabres in 3 (that's right your mounty lov'n, took wear'n, hoseheaded squad doesn't even show up for game four. They will be found hiding at the curling rink eating round bacon and not littering)
That's what I'm talking aboooot.
To the poster who responded to my previous message:
You make good points. However, never did I imply that Buffalo was not receiving leadership from their top players. I would love to have a player like Drury on my team. My implications were that this is the first year Ottawa has received that kind of leadership which will make them a far tougher opponenet than they have been in the past. That comment had very little to do with the Sabres.
In response to the other one, I have not seen all the Sabres games but I have seen the majority of them and on many occasions I have noticed certain things like the Sabres having trouble clearing the zone because they try to just skate it out. Or, the Sabres turning it over at the opponenets blue line while trying to walk it right in instead of dumping it. Against a formidable defensive club, i acknowledge i am a bit bias, it will be tough to get away with such things. I may be right, I may be wrong, I look forward to finding out.
I expect a terrific series. I couldn't be more pumped. Enjoy it everybody!
I'll i've read is the classless sabre fans who cry fowl(note the spelling ,vermon).Those also crying about Brett hull working for NBC. Little sour about a foot and a crease and a loss of lord stanley. Grow up you cry babies. Get ready to enjoy the easts version of the stanley cup. To those credible takes on the series from a boat load of buff fans sorry for the above. SENS in 4. Thats not a typo,IN 4.
Sabres have Drury enough said
Sabs in 6
Buffalo wins in a sweep, we just out class them! No one is gonna stop this team, this city from the cup. BRING OUT the BROOM!!
You Sens fans are too much! Reminds me of those birds (prairie chickens?) that fluff all up and make tons
on noise hoping to scare their enemies. I used to at least give Canadian credit for knowing their hockey.
The reasons Buffalo will win this series in 5:
Better goaltending: Miller is shutdown. Put 30 shots on Emery and 4-5 go in. Buffalo has always been in
Better defense: Any Buffalo starter could crack Ottawa's starting lineup (or any other team for that matter).
Not sure more than 2 from Ottawa could start for Buffalo.
Better offense: Top to Bottom. Tough to contain all of Buffalo's weapons. But Heatley-Spezza-Alfredson could be the best in the series.
Better coaching: See last year.
Home ice: Buffalo. But they'll win at Scota too.
Leadership: Drury vs. Alfredsson. Hmmm. If Buffalo gets ahead ...game...set..match. If Ottawa gets ahead..well
...with Drury it's never over.
Buffalo will play you physical or finesse. You choose...you lose.
How Ottawa could win:
Sellout to team defense first. Much like the Rangers. Four across the blueline when Sabres attack.
Limit the shots on Emery.
This smells alot like last year. Ottawa wins the regular season, thinks they have an easy series ahead of them.
I'll be glad to debate any of the above points. Not much interested in debating who won 200 year old battles.
All this nonsense talk and stats won't mean a thing come thursday. I can tell you right now who will win, the team who has scored more goals than their opponent when the buzzer goes off. I looked it up so it has to be true.
Canada is like a loft apartment over a great party.
Go Sabres !
Dear Posting of May 8th at 1:19pm,
"Ottawa will beat your Buffalo Sabers convincingly, much like they did this year."
You may be trying to correct the grammar of a Buffalonian... but please let me correct your spelling its SABRES... AS IN LET'S GO SABRES!!!! If you are trying to be witty with how incredibly smart you may THINK you are... you are doing a horrible job!
"WHOPEEEE SENATORS BEAT A PENGUINS TEAM THAT HAD A DAMAGED KEY PLAYER.. CROSBY BROKEN FOOT..."
Ummm...this is the playoffs. Everyone plays hurt.
I'm looking forward to this series! We'll see two great teams, well matched.
I say Sens in 6. There is leadership emerging among the Senators. More maturity and heart is being demonstrated by Alfie. Buffalo has a great team, but Lindy Ruff is looking a bit frazzled. His tantrums can't be helping his team's composure. Could it be that the weight of being THE team to beat all season is too heavy for him...and his team?
Quick comment on the Buffalo "small market" thing.... the NHL should be more concerned about national exposure in the US. To that end, the NHL wants Buffalo to win, because the (like it or not) "Little City that Could" will be a nation-wide story if the Sabres win the cup.
Oh, and I agree about Brett Hull. Talking loudly does not mean you are smart.... explain yourself.
What is up with all this Canada bashing? Total losers. Go Sens!!!
Buffalo in six:
1. 4 lines - shut down one 3 more more ready to take up the slack.
2. Miller - less prone to meltdown than Emery.
3. Drury - Mr Clutch!!
4. Ruff - best coach in the NHL at adapting to the changes in play game to game.
5. Goose - can take on Neil and win hands down.
6. Connolly - as revenge for ending his season last year will play his heart out to get this team to the finals.
7. Stafford - no problem with him waiting in the wings if needed.
8. Buffalo - greatest fans in the entire NHL.
Lets's go Buffalo. OOh Ah Sabres on the Warpath
Point well taken that the Sabres owe a huge debt to their Canadian neighbors. I have no idea why this is becoming a discussion of Canada vs. U.S. Two great countries and allies shouldn't let a little competetive hockey get in the way of a good friendship. That said, I think all Sabres fans were rooting for the Senators against New Jersey and have to be happy with this matchup instead of the Devils who have had our number in the past. This is the matchup we wanted even though I expect the Senators to play hard and go down fighting.
After watching the video I have a question for the Ottawa contingency ... Why did you let a Buffalo player beat up your goalie?? Do they not like him?
Alfredsson has been the best player in the entire league this playoff season. He is getting clutch goals, clutch assists and laying the body on the line when the team needs that extra push. Believe me, i have always been critical of ALfie but this year, he is playing like a guy named Joe Sakic used to in teh late 90's...
they let emery fight because they know he would've wanted that...but i agree...they should've killed Peters for going after him...i mean stick to head type of beating!!!!
buff in 5. beating the sens its so easy a cave man can do it. beating the sens its as easy as 123
Look at how the Dfence stacks up Ottawa is 6 deep where as Buffalo is 3 deep at best and none of them are shut down defenders. All of Ottawa defence can skate. Which will helip eliminate Buffalos transition game . The forcheck of Ottawas 4th line will keep the Sabres d scared because they will be getting pounded and worn down .Miller so overrated its crazy.If they can't control Nylander and Jagr good luck controling Spezza and Heatley , oh yeah I forgot about that other guy on the wing Alfreddson , abit of an improvement over Prucha I would say . SENS IN 5.
First off I want to thank Chrissie Neil for the extra incentive during this year’s playoff run. Not that the Sabres wouldn’t have been pumped up already but, every little bit helps.
Secondly, don't be overly convinced that the Senators 5 - 3 regular season record means anything. Had the Sabres team not been decimated by injuries for the final game it could have easily been 4 -4 which really makes you wonder how dominate the Sens really were in the regular season.
Finally, can we get this series started already; the wait is frickin killing me.
Buffalo is the only team in the East that I really like. I hope they go all the way. Having said that, I hope Detroit gets their heads handed to them in the Conference finals.
this ottawa team has destiny written all over it....
either way im soooo pumped for this series to begin....high scoring (yet close) games are what i've missed all playoffs w/ the exeption of game 6 in the Buf-NYR series...either way...i dont feel the rangers were exactly a difficult opponent? no defense, yet buffalo scored like 5 goals in 9 periods?
ottawa looks ready this year...sorry buffalo...train ride stops here
Sens in 6, BABY!
Sens-Ducks Final....Sens in 7
ok...this should be a great series, however in the opening saying is the best rivalry in hockey...dont necessarily agree w/ that. Even though the strike killed some of the rivalry and a lot of the players are new in it...best rivalry still belongs to Wings and Avalanche! I dont care what anybody says...still the greatest rivalry. Anyways back to this final four...Sabres in 6...Red Wings in 7...Red Wings vs. Sabres could go either way but I'll take the Wings in 7!
I'm a Minnesotan, but am rooting for the Sabres the rest of the way. Growing up here, I know about cracks about cold, snow and teams that choke in the clutch(Vikings 0-4 in Super Bowels, North Stars 0-2 in Cup finals while located here in Minnesota)I have been to Buffalo for work, and I have to say that some of the nicest people I have ever met are from Western NY. In the end, I am rooting for Buffalo because they can play really exciting hockey. The level of antipathy between these two teams reminds of the old Bruins-Rangers rivalries from the early 70's. These two teams both have skill players who are exciting to watch. I can hardly wait for the puck(and gloves) to drop.
the Sabres are the team of destiny, they have it written all over them. i don't want to hear any of this talk of Alfredsson being "clutch", he disappeared in the playoffs last year and he's going to do it again. ottawa faced a shockingly weak New Jersey team that was exposed, and the Pens were just too young. meanwhile, Buffalo faced a hungry Isles team and an unrelenting Rangers team, with both teams fighting tooth and nail and giving it their all. this is by no means a roll over series for either team, but to mistakenly think that Ottawa is the better team coming into this series is to be sorely mistaken. the Sabres are simply too deep, too fast, and they have too much to fight for. this is Buffalo's year. this city needs the Cup, and it's beloved team will not disappoint. Drury is (once again) showing how clutch he really is, while Danny Briere is playing like a madman. with Millsy playing lights out goal like he has been, the Sabres are unstoppable. Emery is nothing compared to Ryan Miller.
Sabres in 6. Let's go Buffalo!
FIRST OF ITS THE SENATORS IN THIS SERIES. SECOND EVEN IF THE SABRES GO ON .... NO WAY THE SABRES WILL WIN THE CUP !!! AND BOTH THESE TEAMS I DONT LIKE.
Lord Stanley, take The Buffalo Sabres where you want them To Go,
Let them meet who you want them to meet;
Tell them what you want them to say by scoring many goals
And keep the Senators, Redwings & Ducks out of Buffalo’s Way
As Lord Stanley’s Finds His Way To Buffalo, New York.
Father Joe Moreno
St. Lawrence church
Buffalo, New York
Keep thinkin' the way your thinkin' Buffalo fans. More than happy to see these two beat each other up as it doesn't really matter who Anaheim will play in the finals. The Cup is going to spend the summer in the Southern California sun.
The series will depend upon which Buffalo team shows up. If the fast precision passing, end to end play with the D on the attack shows up, it is curtins for the Sens. If the team that can not play physical, can not score on power plays, and can not stop power plays shows up. Then the cup will be in Ottawa. Bummer, for I think the Buffalo team last year was better, but was cursed with injuries during the playoffs.
I think the Sens are more phycial, so I hope Buffalo, stands up to the goons.
"The forcheck of Ottawas 4th line will keep the Sabres d scared because they will be getting pounded and worn down .Miller so overrated its crazy."
All year long teams have tried to "pound" the Sabres and it simply did not work on a consistent basis along the way to their 113 point season and it won't work in this series as well. The Sabres will win in 7 because Emery will ultimatly fail the Sens and the Sabres scoring depth over four solid lines will prevail over the Sen's lines which in my opinion is two deep at best. If the Sabres lose it will be because of poor special teams play. Special teams will be the x factor as it always is in the playoffs. Also, Neil will be a non-factor just as Avery was.
Actually, all this trash talk is good for hockey. Good because Bettman is an idiot. The league needs something marketable, since most of the press lately is bad press. This is the best thing since the Aves/Wings rivalry. I believe this series will come down to the second lines, and most of all coaching.
sorry Sabres fans, but just like the Bills of the early 90's, the only thing your team will is the best tee-off times...Emery gonna make the saves, Neil's gonna kill everyone, and Ruff's gonna keep whining like T.O.
sabres will dominate and slap brett hull in the face while their at it. they are too fast and too deep to lose to an ottawa team with a swiss cheese goaltender. sabres "punch" emerys' card in 5.