Commentary, news, analysis and reader-driven discussions focusing on this year's Stanley Cup playoffs.
Forget trotting out the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs or the 1975 New York Islanders. No need to re-tell the story of the 2004 Boston Red Sox.
The NHL's Eastern Conference finals are over.
The Senators, once the league's standard-bearer for postseason underachievers, are heading to the Stanley Cup. Honestly, how could any reasonable person suggest otherwise? Ottawa's 1-0 win in Game 3 was the most-lopsided 1-0 game you'll ever see. The Senators limited the Sabres to just 15 shots –- including four in the first period -- and would have won by four or five goals had Buffalo goaltender Ryan Miller not channeled Jacques Plante. Ottawa outshot Buffalo, 38-14. "You don't want to win 1-0 but it's nice to win 1-0," said Ottawa coach Bryan Murray, whose team improved to 11-2 during the postseason.
The league's highest scoring team cannot get started on the power play. In Buffalo, the start of the national anthem is no longer "Oh, say can you see." It is O-for-18, the numbers for the power play this series. The Sabres were 0-for-6 in Game 3. How far has the unit fallen? Buffalo gave up a 2-on-0 break while on the power play in the third period. "Never seen anything like it," said the stunned Versus color commentator.
The remarkable thing was Buffalo remained just one goal down thanks to Miller, who was brilliant (he had 13 saves in the first period) and only beaten by a fluke goal. A wayward shot by Dany Heatley took a strange carom off the end board, hit the back of Miller's arm, and with the goaltender helplessly looking for the puck, Ottawa captain Daniel Alfreddson swept in the rebound for his ninth goal of the playoffs. The Sabres played with a frantic purpose in the final three minutes, but it was too late and too little. Ottawa had never been up 2-0 in a series prior to the game, but they played with the purpose of a team that's already made its reservation for the Cup finals.
BUFFALO HUNTERS screamed the front page of Monday's The Ottawa Sun and the final kill should come over the next two games. A sweep is more likely than possible, which would be devastating to Buffalo, especially with Daniel Briere and Chris Drury possibly leaving for free agency. The Sabres need to take the series back to Buffalo to save face and give Ottawa something to think about. But don't expect the Senators to fold. "The atmosphere in the room is very professional," Alfreddson said. "We know exactly what we have to do."
posted by SI.com | View comments |
I'm sorry but where the hell is all the buffalo smack talking now? Time for Canada to finally end its cup drought!!
Don't think we'll see many Buffalo types come out tonight. Sens look great. Series is done. Not sure the Sabres will even win a game.
bad things happen when you take the rangers out lol
They are all @ home in tears and draining their frustration with alcohol....the armpit of USA how now been silenced!!!
It won't matter. Whether it's the Ducks or the RedWings (hopefully the Ducks), the cup although hoisted by Canadiens will not be won by a Canadien team. Go Ducks.
What about that Adam Sandler's Ottawa song....? Maybe it should be reworded as: " Oh Buffalo, Buffalo...just a bunch of Chicken....wings!
i heard some Buffalo fan before last night's game say that they had Ottawa right where they wanted them. I guess now they really have Ottawa behind the 8-ball. Don't worry Buffalo, at least you have your yummy wings...and five alarm fires.
Congratulations Sens, you're the better team.
Buffalo too young of a team to carry the weight all season long? Don't know what happened to my boys....same guys that streaked all season just couldn't put it together in the playoffs.
This is gonna be a long, hard coupla days.
Ahh... classy Canadians. So gracious in victory as they usually are in defeat :-)
Two words Ryan Miller.... A moose could have played net for the sens and still won the game... All Buffalo has to do is show up offensively and put an effort in and Canada will be crying again without a cup
Pretty "accurate" statement there "Anonymous". I'm sure that you've never been to Buffalo making your statment about it being the "arm pit" of the USA" an empty one. Show some class.
Live it up while you can Sens. You're going to get a taste of bitter when the west smacks you in the mouth. That'll be a fun series to watch from where I sit.
Responding to the "armpit" comment. I thought the armpit of the USA was your moms house ?
Come now. This is some monumental victory for Canada??? Only 11 players on the Senators are Canadian. Ottawa is winning because at this point in time they are the better team. That's the reason the playoffs are the second season. Hats off to the Sens. They deserve to win, but some Nationalistic coup??? Get Real.
If your going to make fun of Buffalo, at least do it correctly. New Jersey is the armpit of the USA, not Buffalo.
Bryan Murray coached teams always find a way to lose in the end. The disney ducks led by the twin towers on defence will prevail in the end.
It's amusing to read these Canadians attempting to talking smack, but sorry is the Cup will not be going to Canada (AKA the reverse rednecks of the north) As for Buffalo fans, They have more heart and class than any Canadian fan. The remaining USA teams have way more talent than the Sens.
on the good side, there is still time for the sens to choke before raising the cup.....
Lot of smack talk from a team that has a huge history of chokes.
This year the sens are going to take it to a new level. Does anyone really believe these east is better than the West? Anaheim/Detroit will mop the floor with these "choke dogs." Quack Quack- go Ducks!
Woohoo! Ottawa's finally going to the Stanley Cup Finals. Anyone who says Ottawa got no chance against the Duck or teh Wings, get over your western selves! Every year you hear about how the West is so much tougher than the East and so on but it seems to me the last two teams that hoisted the cup were eastern teams. We beat the Wings in our only meeting with them this year and as for the Ducks, as much as I think they could be a great team, they're dirty players and will get all the penalties that are coming to them.
GO SENS GO!!!
"Armpit of the USA?" C'mon. Ottawa is playing solid hockey and the Sabres ran into a brick wall. Gloat if you must. Slam the team. But going after the city? May I remind you that you live in OTTAWA, Ontario, Canada? Not exactly heaven on earth, is it?
Ducksfan: Sounds like a familiar refrain. I remember how many predicted Sidney Crosby was going to run roughshod over Ottawa in the first round. I remember how Martin Brodeur and the trap was going to stymie Ottawa like they did in 2003. I recall lots of pundits saying Buffalo's 4 lines were more then enough to top Ottawa's 4 lines, like they did last year.
Yet reality was Ottawa entirely neutralized Pittsburgh young guns, leaving them to hack away on the doorstep for any hope of a goal. Ottawa out-trapped New Jersey and made the best goalie in the NHL look mortal, even when he brought his A game. And all of Buffalo's 4 lines have often been outworked by Ottawa's 4th line.
The difference this year is that Ottawa has been the best team in the NHL since January 1st, yet this fact has flown under the radar for the most part since they had such a crummy start to the campaign. They've had to work very hard to get where they stand right now. I suspect that whoever comes out of the rough and tumble West will find a fresh, hard working Senators team ready to skate circles around whoever they meet up with in the finals.
It seems like the New York Rangers took more out of Buffalo than the Sabres would like to admit. I do believe that the Rangers would have been a more worthy opponent to Ottawa in this series. Although the Sens sure do seem like they have their eye on "The Prize."
Congrats Sens. You guys are clearly the better team. I'm not going to make excuses. Buffalo has sucked b/c the Sens are making them look stupid.
I'm not counting Buffalo out yet. No doubt they're good enough. Let's go Buffalo!!!
Buffalo is the most overrated team in the NHL. They got so lucky in beating the Rangers; if not for that game 5 choke you'd see the Rangers giving Ottawa a run for their money in this series. Now that they're done, Chris Drury will look good in a Blueshirt next year :)
Anonymously calling Buffalo the armpit of the USA. Real brave and real classy.
Maybe the Buffalo fans were on to something......they said it would be a sweep. And I thought goaltending was the weak point for this Sabres team.
"They are all @ home in tears and draining their frustration with alcohol....the armpit of USA how now been silenced!!!"
Classless right till the end...no wonder they adore guys like Neil.
I'd typically be supporting an East Conf. team if Ottawa beats Bufffalo, but in this case - just because I hate the team almost as much as their classless fans - I want Detroit or the Ducks to keep the cup here in the USA.
BTW - If you Canadiens hate Buffalo so much feel free to keep yourselves and your monopololy money up across the border instead of coming to ship down here.
BTW2 - with respect to your play money, don't worry....some day you'll be the 51st state and have real money to use.
I'm not fond of, and will not defend in any way, Sabres fans being jerks online. But when people come back and insult them and the city where they live, it just confirms that there are jerks supporting every team.
Ottawa has played a heck of a series and they were the team that every Sabres fan was worried about, even though most won't admit it. The Sens ability to take the Sabres out of the game mentally is as impressive as anything.
(FYI - Sabres fan here hoping that a miracle happens, but realistically knowing that he'll be backing the Sens in the Final.)
I'm a Sabres season ticket holder, and I'm proud of it. That being said, Sens have dominated play the majority of this series while the Sabres have played like the Sens of years past, timid and scared. It would take a miracle for them to suddenly start to play fundamentally sound hockey and even win game 4, much less come back.
I'm still a fan and I'm still proud of the team, but they have lost their way.
i think that the senators are clearly playing the best hockey since their long and storied franchise began. 15 years of hockey heritage is clear when you read about someone talking about a city. you have to give the sens credit, it only took them five tries to knock buffalo out of the playoffs. gloat all you want sens fans, you earned it. i would be proud also if my team finally lived up to expectations. one disappointing series i can live with, i just hope that buffalo is able to rebound next year with all the roster problems they will have. see you in an other dozen years sens fans.
GOOD BYE SABRES!!! The Rangers should have knocked you out.
It is crazy that anyone is talking smack about Buffalo. This team had a stellar regular season and if the playoffs had started after 60 games instead of 82, we would be talking about the Sabres winning the Stanley Cup. Ottawa got hot at the right time, Buffalo got ICE COLD. It stinks, but Ottawa has way outplayed them.
Is Emery better than Miller? not a chance. No GM in the league would take Emery over Miller, but he has probably played at LEAST as well as him this series.
Is Ottawas lineup better than Buffalos? Maybe, who knows - but they are definitely playing better.
Buffalo is a great city with great fans. It is a shame that we can't take home a championship. Don't knock the city OR the team though. 80+ straight sellouts in Buffalo (in one of the lowest household income cities in the country), The Presidents Trophy...we have a lot to be proud of.
It's too bad that there are classless Sabres and Senator fans, both teams lacking hardware, that have to refer to anyplace as the "Armpit of USA" - Buffalo or NJ. Devils will continue to rule (at least they never got swept). Go Marty
I will admit, the Sens are playing better hockey. There's still hope but with performances like last night, Sabres are going nowhere. If the refs called and even game with the Second game of the series (no goal, ghost penalties) this could be a different series but it looks like the Senators are full speed ahead. Outplaying, outshooting, outworking...thats what the Sens are doing. And this is coming from a Buffalo Sabres fan. Sabres - If you guys are going to lose, go down with a fight.
-Very disappointed but still die hard Sabres Fan.
Many of us Buffalo fans are wondering when Lindy Ruff is going to try to play some offense? Why not play Nathan Paetsch in place of Kalinin? Wasn't Paetsch the key to the power play during the regular season? He can't hurt any more than Kalinin. And how about playing Drew Stafford? Let's get a little energy back out there! Please! The current lineup is not going to get it done.
The Sabres are suffering the curse of the President's Cup. The Sabre's have been a great team all year but are clearly being out played by the Senators. As for the number of Canadians on the Senators.. that number would be 15.
While I'm a Canadian the only possible reason I could consider rooting for Ottawa is to stick a knife in Gary Bettstein's ribs and kibosh his American dream of the new NHL.
Many is the time I am asked why I am not a fan of the "home Canadian team" which in my case is the Canucks. It's not like they or any team are representing one nation so why should countries come into things at the professional level.
As for this series, the Sabres are over matched and going nowhere. It has come down to a few bounces as well. But when you aren't as good and are not getting the bounces either you are in big doodoo.
I can only hope Detroit beats the Ducks. Because I will watch the final regardless of who is playing but it will be tough to find a team to actually pull for if the options are the Ducks and the Senators. But since Bettstein will probably hope the Ducks win (to entrench their foothold in SoCal???) I'll most likely lean towards Ottawa.
Ottawa has the best shot at winning the cup. They have been the most dominate team since the end of the season and through the entire post season. They've been poised to go on a streak like this for years now. For those who still have doubt's all you need to do is look at Indy.
I'm not even an Ottawa fan, never have been, never will (Pen's fan here) be but at least i'm being realistic and not living in Technicolor’s like some of you. If Ottawa wins the cup I bet we'll never hear from some of you smack talkers again. You'll just shut your mouths and quietly disappear. Unlike you cowards, I'm more than prepared to eat crow if I'm wrong about them.
Being from the West, Sens look the team to beat for the Cup. Wings & Ducks will play a long rough series and will have a hard time getting their breath to catch Ottawa. It will still be a 6 games series, but Ottawa will have the freshest legs and more drive to win it. And with Alfredson playing like a gritty Canadian, he's got the Conn Smythe wrapped up.
For everyone else that is determined to bad mouth fans, teams, cities, and countries (on both sides of the border), if you can't act with class and show sportsmanship, then stay out of the way and keep your traps closed for the true HOCKEY FANS to voice opinions. Cause all you spuds spout out is garbage and should just stay in your parent's basement reading your Archie comics.
As far as Ottawa not quite being "heaven on earth", just check all the surveys of the best place to live in the world. Seems like Ottawa is always right up there in the Top 10, while NOT ONE American city makes the list.
Enjoy your country, leave the hockey and the Cup to the people who understand the game.
OTTAWA WILL CHOKE... THE LIFE OUT OF ANY WESTERN TEAM IT MEETS!
You know I'm reading some of these comments and I'm disheartened by some of the things people are say. As a die hard Sabres fan I can admit defeat when I see it and the Senators have most definately played better hockey during this series. It hurts me to say it but they deserve to go to the finals.
That being said, the comments about peoples cities and country and the all around bashing that is taking place on this site is just sad. Their playing hockey, not who's country rocks the most. Hockey teams are a mix of all nationalities anyways.
I turned off the third period...just ridiculous..and sad
Derek Roy and Daniel Briere are form Ottawa, I sense conspiracy. haha .... Even the most ardent Sens fan has to agree this Buffalo team looks nothing like it did in the regular season. I remember the regular season sabres stealing the puck in the neutral zone and making smooth transistions to offense...not this playoff team, thay can even find their arse.
The Sens know what its like to lose in the playoffs when youre supposed to win. Looks like sabs need same lesson.
Wow, do the Senators look good. The only problem they will have in the Stanley Cup finals is that they do not have home-ice. The last time a team without home-ice in the finals won the Cup: 1997.
Bodes well for the Wings.
Who had the nerve to say Buffalo is a great city with great fans? They are a joke. A group of us have been talking on a few sites for the last 7 years and while talk can get heated we could at least talk. Never was one Sabre fan to be found, then last year came and guess who came out of the woodwork. Some of the most arrogant fans who had no clue about the sport outside of their beloved Sabres. Go back to your holes morons, there are actually hockey fans that would like to talk without one of you idiots jumping in with how your dynasty should just be given the cup.
sucks to be buffalo, can't win in football, can't win in hockey, can't win in economics, can't win in anything really except having fat people.
Some of these comments are ridiculous, most likely from people who do not understand the game. As a Canadian (that's right Canadian is spelt ian not ien for all you literacy wizards south of the border). First talk about choking...Buffalo is the choke city of all of sports. Has the city won anything before? Second, the Sens have been one of the best teams in the second half of the season. They will give either Anaheim or Detroit a run. They are the best all around team left in the playoffs. Detroit is relying on Hasek too much to even get past the Ducks.
Buff isn't the armpit of the US, its the armpit of the universe...GO CANES
The Senators are playing at an incredible level. While Buffalo may have a great regular season record, they have hardly shown the passion needed to move past this series. Ottawa on the other hand has exceeded any effort the Sabres put forward in all dimensions of the game.
Guess what city has won the third most Stanley Cups - Ottawa. It's time to return the championship to the city that once hosted the Cup (at the bottom of the Rideau Canal).
... From someone who's been a fan of both teams for 15 years, 2000 miles away in Texas.
Big Sabres fan.
How can you not like Joe Corvo. Cool Dude. I will be sorry for him when the fragile sens fold like a wet paper bag in the next 4 games.
Go Sabres. Bring it on sens.
I've been a Sabres fan since the 70's and this is the most talented team in Sabres history. The Sens have talent too, but they are not as talented. As a hockey fan, we all know that the playoffs are another season. Unfortunately, the Sabres were not ready for the second season and the Sens are. The Sens will win the series, not because of their talent, but because of their preparation for the second season.
Sorry Buffalo fans. I was pulling for them, I really was. But the Sabres are in complete disarray right now; Game 3 proved that (if no other game of the playoffs has yet). It's over. We can only hope they'll be even better/stronger next year. On the flip side, the Senators, while playing well, have also feasted on some inexperienced and/or mentally feeble teams thus far - when they meet the red-hot, fully-confident Ducks in the final, their run is over!
Looks like Buffalo is done. I'm sad to see them go. The city deserves a championship... but the Stanley cup needs to come home to Canada.
To suggest that the Sens will win, but not because of their talent, is ridiculous. No question, they are probably the best conditioned team in the league, but not talented enough? What possible evaluation of talent can you be making? As pointed out earlier, people seem to forget that the Sens had the best team in the league in 2007. They started the season poorly, but turned it on once we finished singing Auld Lang Syne.
Ottawa is more talented. This run has been brewing for years and it's a testament to the management's ability to maintain continuity and re-sign the right players.
Teams that are constantly dismantling after disappointing years lose over and over again. Teams like the Sens, Devils, Red Wings, Buffalo and Colorado have a plan and stick to it. The Senators could be dominant for years to come.
Was the goal legal? I thought Alfie was skating through the crease...
New Jersey is the armpit of USA?
Actually we're one of the smartest states and have one of the highest average incomes....real armpit-like huh?
I have read all of the comments before mine, and I can honestly say that I am embarrassed. I cannot believe I am wasting my time responding too, but I fell like I have to say something. I am from Toronto, and even though I don't like the Sabres hockey team, most of which is due to the fact that they have owned our Toronto team in the past couple of years, I have never stooped so low as to make fun of a city and it's inhabitants. Some of you so called Canadian's should be ashamed. While we may not like the Sabres hockey team, there is no need to make mongrel, juvenile remarks about the city. What this tells me is that those that are making fun of other cities are the uneducated individuals that don't have a clever come back so they resort to what is known best to them, school yard antics. I am sure some of you are 30+ years of age. Congratulations to those Canadians that displayed their actions as 5 year olds. You really got those Buffalo fans with your "my city is better than your city BS." As Canadians, I would expect an original though but then again, not when you are talking to those individuals with their Canadian tuxedos on and sporting a mullet, going to spend a family dinner at the Canadian ballet. That's bal-lA for those Canadian's that can't read, and I am sure there are a lot of you on here. As for the Buffalo fans, I am not concerned about those comments. I am not from the US so it does not bother me. Grow up!
"Come now. This is some monumental victory for Canada??? Only 11 players on the Senators are Canadian"
Actually 14 of the 23 players on the Ottawa Roster are Canadian.
11:30 and 11:55 anonymous- you exemplify class. To the first of you, actual Sabre fans have also been annoyed by all the bandwagon fans, but there are a lot of us that have loved the team for much longer and we love to talk hockey. We've seen Ottawa take its lumps and they deserve everything they've earned this season. Regardless, with that attitude I think you're an idiot but I still feel glad for the real Ottawa fans who are usually pretty classy and knowledgeable about the game.
What does it matter what nationality the players are? Sens are a Canadian team, in a Canadian city, that makes them represent Canada.
The same complaint can be made about an American team (how many of the players would be American?
Enjoy the hockey and the competition, instead of using this as a chance to exhibit boorish behavior.
Feel bad for you Sabres, but you'll have another chance next year. As a Sens fan, I've been in waiting for this, and have been on the wrong end too many times.
Senators are focused and playing very well. Can't do too much when someone else is playing that well.
Congratualtions to the Senators. You obviously want it more than my Sabres. You've outworked, outhustled and outplayed us in all 3 games. Beat us to the puck everytime. You've also gotten into our heads. It's obvious you've been gunning for the Sabres ever since Round 2 of last year. We've been poorly coached and unprepared for your onslaught. Heads should roll in Buffalo after this mess is over (we need a PP and PK coach -- bye bye Brian McCutcheon). Good luck in the Finals, Ottawa. I'm not sure I'll be pulling for you but you have a talented, well coached team brimming with determination. But I still give Detroit and Anaheim the edge in goaltending.
yea talk your smack now...but Sabres have ruled the Ottawiners for years and until you win that 4th game dont get to giddy....your playoff record is not that good and I do remember Sabres whipping you up yearly....if you win than so be it....you deserve something from all the choke years you have had.....go Sabres
Hey Sabre1962, how many cups your Sabres have? How much longer have they been around than these Sens? And the Sens are chokes, lol. Funny how Sabres fans are talking to others about winning and class when they are most classless bunch of posters around. Not fans, posters. Shame all the other fans complaining about their bad name don't post more to put the borish ones to bed.
Well said 10:26, 1:47 and 2:27. As a Sabres fan, I will admit that the Senators have completely outplayed the Sabres in this series and deserve to go to the Cup.
As an immigration employee in Buffalo and proud to live in a cross-border area, let's not bash either city/country. The NHL is made up of players from many, many talented players from many nations, not just the US and Canada.
Let's just stop the bashing and enjoy some good hockey in the Cup finals. Since the Sens trampled over us in every way (with the exception of goal-tending), I will support them in the Cup finals. Good luck to the Ottawa Senators! Hopefully, there will be a rematch in the Eastern Conf. finals next year!!
The Sabres may be down but they are not out yet. If they win on Wednesday, I think they will start to regain some confidence and it could end up being a long series. They haven't given up all year and they are not going to give up now.
Someone explain to me how the lack of sabres fans presence on a discussion board means they're bad fans? If anything, it means they hadn't discovered the boards.
The arguments in here are poor at best. Hate Buffalo and their fans. Or, hate Ottawa and their fans. And then claim cultural supremacy because your country is the home of hockey. And then someone else should go ahead and call Canada the 51st state.
And then claim that you have class by calling the other team's fans classless. Oh, how technology has made us all so civilized.
Never thought I'd say this, but I miss the days of beer muscles because the toughest guy I know these days is known as "anonymous."
Let me start by saying that I think the Sabres are done, but I still have a sliver of hope.
Here's why.... In 04 the Red Sox lost a very close game two in New York and then got blown out 19 to 5 or something like that in game 3.
I thought they were done, they looked like crap, had no emotion, and just got thoroughly embarrassed.
The exact same thing happened in game 3 last night. The sabres played their worst game I can remember them playing this season. I hope they are embarrased, they better be, and that they come out angry and take the momemtum of this series back.
You morons actually think Buffalo fans are a "classless bunch of posters"? More than 8,500 fans watched game 3 at Buffalo's home arena. Did Sens fans flock to Scotiabank to watch their team's away games? I don't think so.
Buffalo fans are among the greatest fans in professional sports history. After years of playing great and never winning it all (0 fer 4 CONSECUTIVE Super Bowls, Brett Hull's cheap goal, and everyone forgetting that Carolina would have surely lost to Buffalo last year in the Eastern Conference Finals if wasn't for the slew of unfortunate Sabres injuries), Buffalo's fans never once gave up faith for their teams. 8,500 fans outside of HSBC Arena while we were DOWN 2-0 in the series. If that's not dedication, I don't know what is.
The town is consumed by hockey. Six out of the top ten selling jerseys on NHL.com are Sabres players. The Sabres experienced
a sales increase of more than 895% compared to this time last year - tops in the NHL. All around town, we wave our flags and wear our Sabres clothes every game day, win or lose. The Senators can't say that about their fans. Buffalo's time will come. GO SABRES!
That last comment is priceless. Takes a president cup to do that to your fan base? How old is this franchise? I think that just goes to show what bandwagon fans you have. Empty building when losing, selling out the stadium when winning. What a hockey town!
Buffalo's problem is not the forwards because they obviously have incredible depth. Their problem is on defence. During the season when Buffalo comes to town it is hard for the host team's coaching staff to get the players to play with the discipline required to contain Buffalo's incredible speed and puck movement. Usually, Buffalo strikes first and then you are forced to open up. In a wide open game Buffalo will win 90% of the time. The Senators are playing with discipline. They play a modified trap with one player providing offensive puck pursuit. On the four lines Ottawa rolls out puck pursuit is provided by the fastest player on each line. Namely: Alfredson, Fisher, Vermette and Mcammond. These guys are forcing Buffalo's defence to make poor decisions with the puck, hence the large number of turnovers. Buffalo needs more defencemen with higher panic points (i.e. players who don't panic when the pressure is turned up, Jay McKee comes to mind). They also need to simplify the way they come out of their own end. If Ottawa wins this series and Anaheim comes out of the west I guarantee dealing with Pronger, Niedermayer and Beauchemin will be a totally different experience. I am not yet certain how a possible matchup with Detroit will look but Lidstrom is the calmest defenceman I have ever seen. That being said.......GO SENS!
The Senators have outplayed the Sabres, no one is denying that. Grats to the Sens for that.
What I just don't understand it all the immature Sens fans dissing the city of Buffalo because of it. Its so childish and classless. Grow Up.
Above me, what "knowledge" are you basing that on? Would that opinion be based on selling out more consecutive home games than ANY team in the NHL?
We were there when the Sabres were losing, and we'll surely be there at the top when they're winning. We had a bad January and won less than half the games that month, but did the home sellout streak end? No. It's still active. We made it to the Conference Finals without the Presidents Cup last year; it didn't take that to create the Sabres fan base. Check your facts.
You are a moron. The Sabres fan base has always been here. The amazing season last year along with the color and jersey changes this year attributed to the high numbers of sales on NHL.com. Hardly has anything to do with being on a bandwagon. If you want my opinion, I hate the new sabres logos, but I love my Buffalo Sabres.
Empty building while losing. We've had over 80 straight sell out games. If you ask me, you should be saying that to all the Hurricane fans who had empty seats during the playoffs.
We had 8,000 fans in our home Stadium for an away game and we were down 2 games to 0. Shows how much you really know.
The Sens are playing better hockey than the Sabres, its that simple. I can only truely be frustrated with my own team for this deficit and have no need to bash fans or the Senators team. If the Sens win, best of luck to them but I still haven't given up on the team I've favored since I even knew what hockey is. If you knew anything about Buffalo, you'd know that we have some of the most die hard fans around, championship or not.
Forgive us if we are a little excited about coming close to a major world championship.
That last comment is priceless. Takes a president cup to do that to your fan base? How old is this franchise? I think that just goes to show what bandwagon fans you have. Empty building when losing, selling out the stadium when winning. What a hockey town!
The Sabres are finished simple as that. and it'll be time to rebuild after Drury and Briere are both gone. Although in this series Briere has played maybe 2mins of good hockey. Oh and btw TGI Friday's its a good place really, but is that the best you can do for excitement?
15 Senator players are Canadian. Heatley is born in Germany, but grew up in Calgary and is obviously Canadian, hence him playing for Team Canada several times!!!
The Broom is out of the closet!!
First of all lets get one thing straight Buffalo has yet to play a a good game or their best game for that matter and the Senators still have some trouble beating Buffalo. Second to all Senator fans your team has choked before and will most likley do it again if not to Buffalo surely to the Ducks or Wings.
Will everyone stop sayig that Ray Emery has outplayed Ryan Miller, because anyone wha has watched the games clearly kmnows that it is not true.
To the above anonymous- Bandwagon?
In the month of January, the Sabres' record was 6-7-1. Considering their 28-7-3 record before January, that would surely be time for the "bandwagon" fans to jump off. Did they? The Sabres still sold out every home game in the cold month of January. Buffalo has indeed sold out every single home game in the 2006-2007 season whether the Sabres were winning or losing.
Buffalo is not a bandwagon town, sir.
First off, I am proud to be a Buffalonian. It's great to be in a city that cares so much about its sports teams.
Secondly, I don't think the Sabres are done just yet. I'll admit the Sabres played really bad in the first three games and that their power play is non-existent. Despite all this, I sincerly believe the Sabres have a chance. They need to regain the fire they had last year. If they can play anything like they did in the first ten games of the season, anything can happen
The Sabres franchise must be panicking... they can already see their season ticket waiting list dwindling... If their team doesn't win nobody in Buffalo shows up. Just like the Bills who are the only NFL team now that can't sell out their games. Could you imagine if the Sabres had another season like 2002-2003 where they only avg 13700 sold tickets!?! They may as well move to Hamilton! And maybe Willis was right, move the Bills to Toronto.
young Sabres team + Presidents Cup pressure + Senators relentless pressure = Sabres collapse.
The Senators are playing flawless hockey, and the Sabres are feeling the same pressure of expectations that the Sens felt last year.
Not to mention the Senators improved this year (Volchenkov is a different player, Chara leaving was addition by subtraction, etc) while the Sabres lost a lot of size and stability (Grier, McKee, even Pyatt).
Sure, I'm disappointed, but not entirely surprised. The Sens are better. They deserve to go on. Having said that, I'm still hoping for a miracle... :-)
I love that Rangers fans still have time to post from the 65 sq ft apartments on the Upper East Side. C'mon guys, you were dismissed in six games. Yeah yeah, we know, you "shoulda" won Game 5. Just like Buffalo would have won Game 4 if there was a decent camera in MSG. Keep chanting "Hen-rik, Hen-rik" all summer. By the way, NY fans, when's the last time a NY team won a championship in a sport with hard salary cap, where their big-money owners couldn't buy a title (this coming from a Mets and Giants fan)? Don't burn off all the hair glue thinking about it.
Congratulations to the Ottawa Senators, this year's winner of the "Canadian hockey city that cares a little bit too much and will inevitably lose to a warm-weather market team (Ducks)."
I take back what I said about Ryan Miller: he played a great game and, if the Sabres were going to continue on, he would have to be a frontrunner for the Conn Smythe.
That said, COME ON, Buffalo fans! Is this going to be how it is every year? "We're too young!" (then go home and play with toys). "We are tired after the Rangers series!" (then go home and rest). "The refs don't like us!" (then go home and cry). All of the excuses add up to one thing: if you can'ttake the pressure and then the losses, then turn off the TV, or leave the arena, and just go home and forget about it.
Last year, it was "We're too depleted with injuries!" but THAT team didn't get in a position to be swept! THAT team played like it had the Cup firmly in its sights. THAT team didn't complain, or cry (it left that to the fans).
Hockey can be a cruel game. Pucks take bad bounces. It's often a long night of "we should've" or "what might have been."
But you all have to suck it up and stop the crybaby act. You have a very good team in Buffalo, but guess what? They're ALL good teams at this point! Y'all got bushwhacked by Ottawa and there isn't anything you can do about it...except grow up and live with painful defeat.
I'll sign my name so nobody can call me a coward.
Enough with the bad-mouthing of Sugar Ray Emery. No question that Miller stood on his head on Moday and without him the game would have been a blow-out. And fine, Enery was not truly tested by an anemic Buffalo offense. But let's keep in mind that Emery has only allowed have as many goals as Miller in this series. Miller was far from stellar in Games 1 and 2. Emery has benefited from a dominant defence, but Miller was supposed to be benefiting from the same advantage.
And as for those who talk about Miller's all-star season, saying things like any GM would choose Miller over Emery - let's keep the following regualr-season stats in mind -
GAA Emery 2.47 Miller 2.73
SV% Emery .918 Miller .911
SO Emery 5 Miller 2
Not to take anything away from Miller - he's a good goalie who backstopped a great team in the regular season. But don't try and say that he was somehow head and shoulders above Emery.
Although a comeback does seem unlikely, if anybody can do it its the Sabres. If their offense gets on track with how well Miller played, they could make the series more interesting than Ottawa was hoping for.
Hats off to the Sens for a great series. They finally got everything going at the right time.
Being a die hard Sabres fan, it's very tough to stomach the fact that our team has looked totally uninterested throughout the playoffs. Its almost a slap in the face of the fans after the way that we've rallied around them. Man do I miss Scott Arneil as the PP coach!
I grew up in Buffalo and have relatives in Ottawa. Been there several times. They're both great cities with a lot of history. Certainly not armpits.
As far as their hockey teams, we're diehard Sabres fans but they haven't played well for months. They are too fancy and highly overrated. Their early season play won the president's cup. Most of their forwards are just average players and their defense is soft. Ryan Miller is a class act as a person and athlete; the same can't be said for Heatley, eh?
Ottawa is playing great hockey, but being a Sabres fan I know how quickly that can change.
Detroit will win the cup.
As a resident of NJ I take exception to some other place being called the Armpit of the USA. That title is all Jersey, not even a contest!
Sabres will win game 4 by 2 goals. Lindy Ruff will have them play one game at a time. BUFFALO is the best team in hockey. They come at you in waves throughout the whole game and will put 4 in a row together against Ottawa. Please...
A Murray coaching a team to a cup???
Overused but accurate phrase: The only stat that counts is the final score.
Underused but accurate phrase: All other stats are for the losers.
(Well, and for agents of players in salary arbitration).
Using statistics to compare goalies is always a little difficult for me to stomach. Goalie stats are at least in part representative of the defenseive play of the team. The Sens are a far better defensive team than the Sabres (and Sabres fans - chill out - I'm Buffalo born and bred and haven't slept worth anything since Game 3 v. the Rangers).
So, while Emery has made some brilliant saves this season, he also had teammates in front of him making sure he could see the puck. Compare that with Miller who was left on his own against tons of odd man rushes (a result of Buffalo's regular overcommitment to offense).
Emery's numbers should be better but given how their team's played in front of them, I think an argument for Miller is equally compelling.
But who cares about stats when Emery is far far more likely to play for Lord Stanley?
(And remember - Hasek's numbers were insane in Buffalo when all the team did was play defense. And I think Brodeur is one of the finest goalies of all time - but I wonder how his stats would look if he wasn't on the team that perfected the choaking, ugly, defensive hockey that damn near killed the league.)
Please, Sabres, pull tonight off so you can play on home ice at least one more time.
You can't be overrated if you amass 113 points on the season. The Sabres have slumped at a very very bad time, and their powerplay is sucking the life out of them. How many teams give up a 2 on 0 on the powerplay?? I figured the series would go 7 in the Sabres favor due to home ice so long as their powerplay was at least functional. The series is not over yet although the Sens are the better team and will most likly win the series. But talk of the Sabres being overrated is a bunch of crap.
I find it amusing how various posters use the "80+" consecutive sellouts as proof that the Sabres fan base has always been there. 80+ only gets you as far back as last season, when I seem to recall the Sabres being pretty successful as well, so 80+ hardly proves anything about whether there are bandwagon fans or not.
More illuminating perhaps is the comment by another poster, when Buffalo was drawing 13K fans routinely and was on the verge of bankruptcy. I don't recall the Sabres being at the top of the standings those years, so where were the missing 4K or so fans? Were there off the bandwagon at the time, perhaps?
Every city and every franchise has its hard-core fans that will be there every year, no matter the results, and every city/franchise has the fans that get onboard when the team is doing well. To suggest otherwise is ridiculous, especially if your "proof" extends "all the way" back to 2005-2006.
Also, as others have said, it's pretty sad to hear so-called fans moaning about the other team's fans having no class, all the way making totally class-less comments of their own. That's as disappointing as this series has been, as I expected the Sabres to put up much more of a fight than they seem to have put up so far. Congrats to the Sens for absolutely grabbing the series by the throat and not letting go.
Hey smacktalk, if the Sabres are the best team in hockey what does that make the Sens? Curious?
Sens fans. As a Sabre Fan if you move on tonight or in the series, I will cheer for your team.
I think your city can appreciate what Buffalo Fans have gone through so IF you take out the Sabres, go and get that monkey off your back!
Did the series end and I missed it??
Ottawa has to put up another win and they ain't got it yet!
One game at a time. Lots of hockey left to play. Yes, I'm predicting an Ottawa collapse.
Well, given what I know about Buffalo, the sellouts are pretty darn impressive. I mean, the city is small (and getting smaller), the region is is blue collar at its core (with jobs leaving the area constantly), and the economy of the region has been on a steep downward trend since the mid-70s.
So I don't blame fans for being wise with their dollar. My family could afford maybe a game a year for all of us to attend (up in the oranges) - and we were doing better than our neighbors. So if that makes my family fair-weather bandwagon fans, then I'm proud of it.
Ted Darling and Rick Jeanneret were the most important voices in our home during the season.
Buffalo isn't a Canadian city, and hockey doesn't play as much a role in our consciousness as it may in Canada (and that's not a knock on Canada, at all - I think it's wonderful). But any argument that 80 consecutive sellouts isn't impressive is just someone struggling to make his point.
Every city has bandwagon fans so get over yourself.
Hi, my name is Daniel Alfreds--COUGH, cough, cough. Cough.
..I mean, Daniel Alf--COUGH. COUGH...
Oops. "Done. Kaput. Fin."
Not yet you jackass. Why don't you wait until the series is done before you start tooting Blottawa's horn. Go Sabres!!!
You must BELIEVE! Go SABRES!!! :-D
"Hey smacktalk, if the Sabres are the best team in hockey what does that make the Sens? Curious?"
It makes the Sens lucky to be catching the Sabres in a slump. More hocky to play.
It's nice to see Sabres fans showing up in greater numbers at HSBC arena to watch the game on TV than what the Sens had in their arena.
Ya gotta believe!!! 3 more to go until the next round.
ah the tragic decline of a once great civilization...
october: "man, what a start, sabres 10-0 to start the year, no one will beat them this year. 82-0 season i'm telling you, this is no fluke."
november: "did you not see when the sabres lit up the flyers 9-1? i told you this is the best team in the NHL. no fluke. how do you compete with that?"
december: "briere for art ross. ruff for jack adams. miller for vezina. campbell for norris. peters for time magazine's sexiest man alive. i used to hate the new logo, but now it's soooo awesome!"
january: "what do you mean we had a losing record this month? we had like 47 regulars out of the lineup. we're the rochester buffaslugs. just wait till the playoffs when we're healthy"
februrary: "OMG we got zubrus and conklin at the deadline? STANLEY FRICKIN CUP BABY YEEEAAAHHH"
march: "presidents trophy winners. hahaha chumpz. just give them the cup now. i've been saying all year this is no fluke team. they're just too good. cup favourites, no one can touch em"
april: "gotta give credit to the isles. good effort, good effort. BUT WE'RE JUST TOO FRICKIN GOOD YEAHHHH!... sabres got a good little scare there vs the rags, gotta play more consistent if they are going to beat the sens... BUT WE'RE STILL AWESOME YEAHHH!!"
may (before game 4): "*** are these losers doing? score a frickin goal ya bums. where are all those christmas receipts? i'm bringing back my buffaslug pajamas. FIRE RUFF, FIRE REGIER, OH NOESSZ!!!11 (e5)"
may (after game 4): "The Sens lucky were just lucky the Sabres weren't themselves. The greatest team ever is back!!!!! We believe"
you could almost see it coming. almost.
OK, one down, three to go. Next game is in Buffalo. If the Sabres win, the Sens fans can trade their brooms in for some Pepto. Drury seemed to have a little snicker after game 4. Good to see Ruff is shortening the bench. Even Spacek had a decent game. It ain't over yet. I'd like to see Miller steal the next two and send it to game seven. Alfredson should try out for the Swede diving team; Campbell just nudged him and he did a nice flip. It's hard listening to the Sen's fans chanting "Millllller,eh; Milllller, eh".
...you ottawans better keep your tongue short....the fat lady hasnt sung yet...looks like emery is getting a bit shaky!....if the sabres are so bad, how come they gave your sens a good spankin last year????...as for all the sabres fans here...one game at a time guys...keep believin...if any team can come back, the sabres can....all we need to do is win tomorrow night...a whole new series then!!...GO SABRES!!!
....a sabres fan since the days of the french connection...diehard!
i cant believe how quiet the ottawa fans are...?????....its like a church in there!
It's quiet due to the Sens listening to those footsteps getting louder behind them!!! Go Sabres.
Not being a Sens fan myself, I can't say for sure ... but I suspect that, being up 3 games to 1, many of the Sens fans have gotten in line to putchase their tickets to the Finals.
Scott Norwood and Brett Hull
It ain't over til the fat lady sings. Just because we choose to hibernate for afew games doesn't mean we can't play hockey. The Sabres always save the best for last!!! Lets go Sabres!!!
Sabres in seven. Better team, better town. History is in the making so enjoy the show people. Sabres will win the cup this year!
First of all - Congratulations to the Sens - They were the better team - Second, with rregard to all the armpit talk - I would rather live in the armpit of the USA than the sphincter of Canada.
I agree with the last poster's comments. But Ottawa is not the sphincter of Canada. Isn't it Fort Erie? Just a question.