Extra MustardSI On CampusFantasyPhoto GalleriesSwimsuitVideoFanNationSI KidsTNT
Drop the gloves during the playoffs with SI.com's writers in the NHL Cup Blog, a daily journal of hockey commentary, on-site reporting and reader-driven discussions.
11:56 PM ET, 5/30/06

Sabres keep hope alive

Posted by Yi-Wyn Yen
Overcoming hardship is part of the lore of being a Buffalo Sabre. If a Sabre can survive Brett Hull’s controversial winning goal, bankruptcy and the dreariness of downtown Buffalo, losing half your defensemen to injuries deep in the playoffs is just a minor blip in Sabres history.

After a week in which many dismissed the team’s chances to advance to the Stanley Cup finals for the first time in seven years, Buffalo staved off elimination by winning Game 6 in overtime 2-1 against the Carolina Hurricanes.

“When you know you don’t have much left in the tank and you left everything out there, there’s nothing more rewarding,” says defenseman Jay McKee. “It’s certainly a real sweet feeling.”

The win was especially satisfying for Sabres coach Lindy Ruff who has spent much of the series publicly railing on his forwards for their lackluster and unproductive performance in finishing shots on odd-man rushes. In danger of being eliminated in front of a sold-out crowd of 18,690 at HSBC Arena, captain Daniel Briere scored a power-play goal that hit goalie Cam Ward’s shoulder 4:22 minutes into OT.

“I knew if the shot could just get to Ward, we could jump on the rebound,” Briere said. “[Carolina] is so good at blocking shots. We have to find ways to get it past their defensemen because they challenge us.”

The Sabres had never trailed in the postseason until Carolina took a 3-2 lead in the series. Struggling to convert power-play opportunities despite being ranked third best in the league during the regular season, the Sabres went 230 minutes without a power-play goal before Briere’s game-winner in Game 6.

“We played so well [in the first period] that we knew we were going to get a bounce,” Briere said. “I knew we were going to find a way to get it done.”

With their brilliant comeback, the tough-luck Sabres have shifted the pressure back to favored team.

“I thought this was the road that we were supposed to go down, but it’s not,” said Hurricanes coach Peter Laviolette, who complained with the referees’ decision to not call a hook on defenseman Bret Hedican and right wing Justin Williams on the OT penalty kill. “Our backs are up against the wall, and we have a chance to show up and play.”


Posted: 1:06 AM   by Anonymous
Laviolette needs to get over himself and stop whining about everything. Dumont got a bad penalty called on him in OT of game 5 that also cost the game. The refs have been horrible this series and pretty much all playoffs long. Nothing new there.

Anyway, the Sabres deserved this win and got it! We're going to game 7! Lets go Buffalo!!! I still believe!
Posted: 1:58 AM   by msandi001
I am an ecuatorian native 20 year old girl. I love the SABRES and I honestly feel that our team doesnt get the respect they deserve. I honestly believe that even the NHL should consider reviewing the penalties call on us, and see if they a legitimate. I respect Lindy Ruff's professionalism of knowing what his team is capable of, and that the team: " we do what it takes" (divers). Sabres do what they are best at doing " playing hockey ". GO SABRES!
Posted: 6:41 AM   by Dan
"The dreariness of downtown Buffalo'. Lady, I don't know what town you’re from but Buffalo's night-life and downtown rival most cities I have visited and while Hull's questionable goal was gut wrenching, the Sabres and the town itself have allot to be proud of. I was born and raised in downtown Buffalo and I love that city and its sports teams. Dan Underhill Charlotte, NC
Posted: 7:32 AM   by Anonymous
Laviolette is a big crybaby. The officials suck for both teams. On the Brind'amour highsticking call he didn't even get hit with a stick! There was also the Phantom McKee trip on Stahl. Officiating is there to be overcome. The Sabres were faced with the same deal in Game 5, a lame overtime penalty.
Its game 7 sweetheart. Go Sabres.
Posted: 7:57 AM   by Anonymous
The only problem is that Briere should have been whistled for hooking when he hauled down one of the Carolina players just after he got piched off while crossing the blue line. I guess the refs were making up for the lame hooking call on J.P. Dumont from game 5 that gave Carolina the win on the resulting power play.

Great games, both teams are outstanding (especially the goalies). Too bad the refs keep screwing up the calls.
Posted: 8:00 AM   by CMM1
Can you just write a story without the obligatory rip on our city? Have you even been to Buffalo? If Buffalo is so bad why do so many ex-bills and ex-sabres stay after they are done playing? (Steve Tasker, Rick Martin, Scotty Bowman, Lindy Ruff - heck another ex-Sabre lives next to my Dad). I travel all over - yes our state and local governments stink but our city does not.
Posted: 8:12 AM   by Anonymous
I bet you have never even been to downtown Buffalo--now I'm convinced you're not even welcome...
Posted: 8:28 AM   by Anonymous
Nice to have an article on HOCKEY. NBA playoff game was a 20 point romp and the Sabres / Canes game a spectacular hold your breath edge of the seat contest from start to finish. Real sport for true fans from athletes with heart. OLN deserves kudos for their efforts to keep Lord Stanley's Cup alive !
Let's Go Buffalo.....
Posted: 8:47 AM   by Anonymous
Goota LOVE the Sabres. Go get 'em in Carrolina!
Posted: 9:05 AM   by Anonymous
Yeah, I usually complain about my team not getting penalties in overtime as well... Get a clue Wen.

Go Sabres!!
Posted: 9:08 AM   by Anonymous
Call it both ways ref!! If the sabres end up winning, come on up...we're going to really earn our penalty minutes. Jeez, these guys make a finesse team like the Canes look like a bunch of goons! Don't dive on the Oilers fellas or there'll be blood! Canes got hoodwinked in that Gm. 6!
Posted: 9:13 AM   by Anonymous
Peter better go back and watch the tape, I replayed it on Tivo at least 7 times, it was Brind'amour who hooked Williams down. Well it was more of a dive, but it was Rod's stick around his waist not Briere's. Besides there were a ton of no-calls in the 3rd period that Carolina got away with. Stop crying, you got outplayed the last two games and didn't desreve to win either.
The refs should stop calling these MARGINAL penalties, especially in overtime- not just the one vs Carolina, but the one vs the Sabres the game before (Laviolette has no complaint when even w/o replay, the call vs Dumont clearly showed the Hurricane holding the stick under his arm- both or none should have been called!)
Posted: 9:22 AM   by Anonymous
Hilarious how Laviolette and Doug Weight are making excuses and complaining about the officiating. They totally got a lucky call in overtime in game 5 which resulted in the win, if anything we're even now. Let's not forget the "trip" on Eric Staal earlier in the game where he stepped on Mckee's stick and went down. No complaints about that one from Carolina. Bottom line is that the Canes weren't good enough to win the game, and didn't have the killer instinct necessary to advance. That's got to be scary for them.
Posted: 9:23 AM   by Anonymous
Dreary downtown Buffalo??? That's a little harsh. Downtown Buffalo has a thriving nightlife and the best sports fans in the world!!! How is that dreary??
Posted: 9:32 AM   by Anonymous
It's not so dreary. Stop in any downtown bar and have a beer with us!
Posted: 9:43 AM   by Anonymous
Lindy Ruff and the Sabres could have complained after the hooking call that lead to the Canes game 5 overtime power play goal, but instead they focused on what they needed to do to win game 6. With game 7 luming Peter Laviolette, Weight, and the rest of the Canes are spending wasted time complaining? Good recipe for the Sabres in 7.
Posted: 9:44 AM   by Anonymous
Your blogs are drearier than any downtown landscape.
Posted: 9:52 AM   by Juan
I have never been more impressed with a bunch of youngsters who don't know the meaning of die. Rather, it has been "do, or die," and they have "done"... time and time again. I don't think they, with their youth, fully realize the magnitude of their accomplishments this season or what hopes and dreams of our fair Queen City rest on their shoulders. Do or die in game 7, they should be proud and none can complain.
Posted: 10:05 AM   by Anonymous
As a lifetime Buffalo resident, I resent the description of my hometown as "dreary." Maybe, if outsiders began seeing Buffalo as the hospitable and friendly city that it truly is instead of automatically typecasting it as a rustbelt area of days gone by they would begin to appreciate the city more.
Posted: 10:09 AM   by Anonymous
If the refs would do thier job then this series would be over and we'd be looking at Carolina and Edmonton in the finals.
Posted: 10:38 AM   by Anonymous
Laviolette needs to quit his whining regarding the officials. Hedican, Williams and Briere all collided together. It happens.

I hope everyone noticed the Staal dive in the first period and the Brind'Amour phantom high stick. No Sabre hit Brind'Amour yet his head swung back as if he was on a Zapruder film.

Let's Go Sabres!!!!!
Posted: 10:59 AM   by MJ
Thanks for the complimenting the Sabres, but the city/downtown comments are getting old and lame. How about some originality instead of regurgitating a tired old line?

I'm sorry there isn's a Disneyesque development full of chain restuarants and stores next to the arena with ample parking catering to the laziest and most uninspired of our consumer based society. Maybe someday we will be privelaged to offer such an amenity.
Posted: 11:15 AM   by Anonymous
Buffalo will win game 7 and hockey fans will finally have a Stanley Cup against two big hockey towns. I'm pretty sure people in Carolina don't even know they have a team. As for your shot about Buffalo being a dreary town, come visit for a weekend before you make an ignorant statement like that. It doesn't snow here in May. It's hot baby and about to get hotter when we see Edmonton next round!
-Mike in B-LO
Posted: 11:18 AM   by Anonymous
Enough with the stupid City of Buffalo slams. I would be shocked if the author has ever been there. While Buffalo is not a growing city, it is a great place to live. Ask anyone who has lived in Buffalo and you will get a 100% positive response about living there. You won't get the same with people from Cleveland and Detroit etc. These flip negative comments about Buffalo are so unoriginal.
Posted: 11:18 AM   by caniac
the canes got hosed by the no call in OT...this is a great melodrama but when the sabres come back to what is now officially the loudest arena in the world (133 dB in game 2) their coach turns into a pumpkin, literally and figuratively!
Posted: 11:22 AM   by Anonymous
"the dreariness of downtown Buffalo"

You've obviously never been there, or you wouldn't have wrote that. --M
Posted: 12:19 PM   by Anonymous
go sabres!!!!!!!
Posted: 12:24 PM   by Anonymous
How dare you consist downtown Buffalo as a obstacle that the Sabres had to overcome.

Posted: 12:38 PM   by Anonymous
Posted: 12:41 PM   by Anonymous
Hey, Laviolette - the non-calls wouldn't be an issue if your goalie was able to hang on to Briere's shot.
Posted: 1:04 PM   by Anonymous
By "the dreariness of downtown Buffalo," did you mean:

a)The 90 degree days we've been having

b)The blocks of bars that are bustling well past 4 am

c)The theatre district with packed with year round shows, plays, and musicals

Wasn't sure...Maybe you got trampled by the marathon in town this weekend, or by Hillary and the State Democratic Convention, and got confused.

Come on through anytime, and we'll gladly dispell any notion of dreariness, as we keep hope alive.
Posted: 1:43 PM   by Anonymous
Seems all the Canes from the top down are complaining about the penalty call in overtime. Funny how they didn't seem to mind the questionable call against J.P. Dumont in overtime of Game 5 that gave Carolina a powerplay that cost Buffalo the game. Doug Weight is publicly complaining that Jason Pominville should be reprimanded by his captain for "turning into his check". Should Eric Stahl be reprimanded by his captain for stepping on Jay McKee's stick blade and affecting a trip? All's fair in love and war - all I can say is that Weight should suck it up and play like the 20 year veteran that he is. If the game seems to be passing him by, perhaps retirement is in order. Maybe he should check with his captain..........
Posted: 1:43 PM   by Anonymous
Where did you write this from? I'd hardly call downtown Buffalo "dismal". While game six was going on, a baseball game (trple A) was played next door, the NYS Democratic convention was 6 blocks away nominating the candidate for governor and thousands were attending plays and dining out.
It was also 80 degrees and sunny until 9 PM.
Sure you were here?
Posted: 1:56 PM   by Jason Stoos
"...the dreariness of downtown Buffalo"? Gimme a break. Have you even been to Buffalo? Don't believe everything you hear about our city without experiencing it first hand. Maybe do some research before you pass off this yellow journalism.
Posted: 1:59 PM   by Darryl B
Why do you have to say the "dreariness of downtown"? what does that have to do with hockey? Downtown is not dreary as you say,where are you from?You have obviously never spent time in Buffalo! Buffalo is a city of good and generous people and we are about to lose the tag of "almost" after tomorrow's game.If you are writing about hockey then stick to the point.
Posted: 2:23 PM   by Anonymous
Drearyness of Downtown Buffalo? Methinks you need to spend some more time there.
Posted: 2:28 PM   by Anonymous
It is funny that not one of your sports writers picked the Buffalo Sabres or the Oilers in the Stanley Cup!
Posted: 2:33 PM   by Anonymous
"the dreariness of downtown Buffalo"

You can criticize my team but when you go around insulting my city and its people, you've crossed the line. I ask you honestly, have you been here? Just join the chorus of people who declare that just becuase Buffalo's economy hasn't been doing that great that means the city is a rotten dump. I'll admit it isn't as glamorous as, say, NYC or, heaven forbid, a real hockey town like Raleigh, but that comment was way out of line.
Posted: 2:39 PM   by Anonymous
Speaking of overcoming adversity, how about the tripping penalty called on McKee in the first period ? Could someone explain to me how one can trip somebody when they're four feet away from them ?
"The dreariness of downtown Buffalo..."is that necessary???
Posted: 3:52 PM   by Anonymous
I get the impression you just write to write and what you say is based on things you hear and nothing you've researched. A few days ago you were writing about Miller and the tough road ahead of him. Now you seem apparently ready to give the Sabres some credit because hey look they won a game!

But to diss the city of Buffalo? That is crossing the line. Have you been here? More so, have you lived here? Or do you just read about the bankruptcy (which had nothing to do with the Sabres and their fans) the no-goal in 99 (obviously thats a sore spot), and hear other people talk about the so called gloomy city, (which by the way was 91 degrees and sunny as could be yesterday.) Seriously. You know what, the Sabres could have been eliminated last night, but we would have still been cheering them until the final buzzer. You obviously have no idea what it's like to be a Sabres fan or a Buffalo resident.
Posted: 3:58 PM   by Anonymous
Let me clear my throat so I can quote buffaloresearch.com: "Buffalo has more days per year in which the temperature is above 60F than days with snow on the ground." I think that says it all.
Posted: 3:58 PM   by Anonymous
I can't believe that all these sabres fans are accusing the 'Canes organization of whining. Buffalo is truly dreary but they do have a lot of whine to offer. Hurricane season is upon us. The Sabres better prepare to get the women and children to higher ground. Also remember, it's the playoffs, everyone plays a little dirty. Go 'Canes!
Posted: 4:01 PM   by Anonymous
Doug Weight needs to quit complaining about his OT call. Maybe a viewing of a certain Brooks Orpik-Eric Cole incident will remind him why you shouldn't hit people from behind into the boards.
Posted: 4:09 PM   by Anonymous
Yes, The Sabres are 1 of 3 teams still fighting in the playoffs for one of professional sports most sought after trophies. Other lesser competitors have been left along the wayside. If you have seen the ad for the OLN games, you will see the Stanley Cup visiting Niagara Falls. WHO DO YOU THINK WILL TAKE IT THERE? Certainly not the Flyers, not the Senators and most certainly not the HURRICANES. While I fault Yen or When or whatever her name is for her inaccurate reference to Buffalo, I FAULT SI MORE FOR CHOOSING THIS BLOG and TO BE ANOTHER BUFFALO BASHER when we are still proudly standing!!! Dreary? I think not! Say what you want about us baby, WE ARE GOING TO 7!!!!!!
Posted: 4:25 PM   by Anonymous
"I'm pretty sure people in Carolina don't even know they have a team."

and I'm pretty sure that the stadium is standing room only for game 7, and the only seats available for game 5 were over $150. Raleigh is overrun with yankees who love hockey, as well as those southerners, like me, who have been following the Canes since they moved from Hartford to G-boro. I'm not going to diss Buffalo and their teams that perennially choke (Boy I Love Losing Superbowls) if y'all stop bashing the south for our supposed apathy towards our sports teams.

Oh, and if you watched game 5 on OLN, you saw the noise meter--loudest arena in the league--110 dB is how loud a 747 jet gets.
Posted: 4:27 PM   by Anonymous
To be clear, there are hardships to be endured in Western New York. That being said, however, "the dreariness of downtown" is not one of them. The Buffalo of the 21st (and much of the 20th) century is not a metropolis. You will not find night clubs with $50 cover charges and long lines run by insolent bouncers, a pretentiousness born of living in a 'global' city, false sincerity, long and painful commutes, and the arrogant predisposition of those fortunate enough to be located within miles of the world's dominant cultural centers. What it is though, is a community teeming with a unique character, heart and spirit that takes time to understand. I believe thats why this team has really struck a chord in this community. They are a bit like us--written off by the rest of the world, unappreciated, seen as something less than perfect. And yet despite a horrible string of bad luck, they have somehow managed to survive. As a writer you seem to like 'our' team without losing your objectivity. But, please don't make it worse by perpetuating negative stereotypes of the area; you only contribute to the ever-increasing amount of baggage hauled around by Buffalonians and their sport's teams.
Posted: 4:27 PM   by Anonymous
I am a native Buffalonian living in Raleigh. I would give my left arm to once again experience the "dreariness of downtown Buffalo" as compared to the generic franchised dullness of Raleigh and it's surroundings. This city has no personality. Ethnic food - try Taco Bell. Fish fry - sorry, you'll have to go to the beach. Night life - yeah, right! I'm sure that every store, bank and building in WNY is showing signs supporting the Sabres - here, you see nothing (did you see all the people at the games here in there UNC, Duke and NC State gear?) Nobody cares about anything here except how much money they make. People are unfriendly, arrogant and just downright rude, ala Peter Laviolette. "Southern hospitality" has passed this burg by! Raleigh's city leaders (and the author of this article) would learn some valuable lessons about kindness, compassion and how to have fun (without going to church) by taking a trip to WNY! Go Sabres!!!
Posted: 4:28 PM   by Anonymous
do you really want to show how great buffalo is by saying that Hillary was there? seems kind of counter-intuitive...

Posted: 4:36 PM   by Anonymous
133 DB- Wow. What you dont realize is that 100 of those 133 are Buffalo fans buying up tickets and making the trip down, since the 10,000 Carolina fans can't nearly sell out the arena on their own. You're lucky to be playing a team like the Sabres that has fans devoted enough to travel. It saves your city the embarrassment of half filling an arena for a Conference final game.
Posted: 5:05 PM   by teb
You definitely haven't been to Buffalo and its time you and all the other big city team loving sports writers agreed to visit Buffalo after we show that teamwork and heart overcomes all when we win the cup! See you soon naysayer!
"Canes got hoodwinked in that Gm. 6!"

Um, Weight hit him in the numbers period. There is no debate on this, he hit him from behind and it waw the correct call. Same as the supposed 'hooking' call on Dumont in Game 5, it is obvious that the old hockey charade of locking oyur arm onto the opposing player's stick and dropping like a ton of bricks when you feel the tug worked out - even though JP dropped the stick before the tug.

So this idea that there was hoodwinking on the part of the refs of the Sabres is a bunch of crap - take a look in the mirror, better yet why don't we teach Mr. Staal how to stay upright on his skates - realize he has an angle on the ref to make it look good he takes a dive, that is gutless. Maybe Mr. Weight should look down a couple of staals (no pun intended, well maybe) and ask Mr. Staal to 'Wake up!'
Oh yeah, and if you have never been to Buffalo, which I assume given the comment "...the dreariness of downtown Buffalo..." - please do not come, you have offically been un-invited.
Posted: 5:26 PM   by Anonymous
Hey Yen, it looks like the masses have spoken about your "dreary" comment. So, what have you to say??
Posted: 5:30 PM   by Anonymous
OK I am going to try and mediate here...Yes the officiating in this series has been questionable at times and both sides probably have a legitimate complaint. But can't we all agree that: 1) both are two highly skilled teams, 2) both have excellent coaching, 3) both have fantastic hometown support (even if one doesn't have as long of a hockey history)?? This has been far and away the best series in the entire playoffs and I (a big Canes fan by the way) having nothing but respect for both organizations.
Posted: 6:19 PM   by Anonymous
133dB- You're bragging about it but at no time did we see the noise levels broadcast from inside HSBC arena. OLN isn't fair and balanced. I'd bet money that it was louder than a 747 at full thrust!
Posted: 6:32 PM   by Simon
Buffartlo will choke in game 7. The Canes are a better team. The Sabres will have to go back and watch another dissappointing NFL season. Make sure to keep a nurse handy for Marv and that old fart owner of yours. GO CANES! GO PANTHERS!
Posted: 6:34 PM   by Anonymous
wow the last time buffalo came close to win the stanley cup they got swept by the dallas stars in 98-99 season.
Posted: 6:40 PM   by Anonymous
A few people mentioned Carolina being the loudest building in the league. About that, well, I think Edmonton is #1 by far (those fans are nuts!). Let's Go Buffalo chants have broken out in your arena, and you didn't sell out game 1 until that morning (Buffalo sold out in 12 minutes all three games).

"the only seats available for game 5 were over $150." - I wish I could get tickets in Buffalo for that cheap. $200 is retail for 100 level. They can sell second hand for 3 or 4 times that.

"if you watched game 5 on OLN, you saw the noise meter--loudest arena in the league--110 dB is how loud a 747 jet gets." - According to wikipedia.com, 110 dB is an "accelerating motorcycle at 5 m; chainsaw at 1 m". A jet engine is 150 dB, which I guess you could say is Edmonton level... I don't think you can say Carolina is the loudest arena in the world when 1) Carolina is the only arena that ran out to Radio Shaq and bought a noise meter, 2) 1/3 of the fans in Carolina are Sabres fans, and 3) You've never seen a game in Latvia.

I don't trust those noise meters when there's the loudest goal horn in the league going off and you've got those cheerleaders screaming less than a foot away from the machine.

I've found online that "noise levels in stadiums and arenas can often exceed 110 decibels." (I got that on some health website). If 110 dB is "often" achieved, then Carolina isn't anywhere near the loudest arena in the world.
Posted: 6:42 PM   by McD
Both teams are pretty damned even if you ask me. It's funny though that all the Canes fans are claiming that they have the better team, and should already be in the Cup Finals. Here's the reality check...series tied 3-3 (wash), each team had a controversial PP goal in OT (wash), each team has had stellar goaltending (wash), Coaching (wash), speed/skill (wash). The things that seperated these two teams were that Carolina had more playoff experience and a better first line, but Buffalo countered with depth and heart. Realistically the only thing Buffalo has now, with 3 starting defensemen and their most dazzling playmaker out, is heart. Will it be enough? I hope so.

Go Sabres!!!
Posted: 7:10 PM   by Anonymous
Laviolette a whiner??? Then why is it that Lindy Ruff has complained about virtually every penalty called against Buffalo, yet has nothing to say about the equally bad calls made against Carolina? I think that both overtime penalties were bad calls, and yes, they contributed to each team's overtime loss. Also, any notion that Buffalo 'outplayed' Carolina in both of their losses in games 4 and 5 is a complete joke. Look at the stats... GO CANES!!
Posted: 7:41 PM   by Anonymous
Give yen a break guys. Just because she made one mistake doesn't mean you have to be all over her. By the way Yen, I like you and your blogs.
Posted: 8:46 PM   by Anonymous
Game 7 is standing room only? Funny, ticket master seems to show plenty of tickets available for the game...
Posted: 9:30 PM   by Anonymous
its a hockey game, its already been decided,we wont know till the final gun, its kizmet, dont let wrighters get under your skin, they just tap faster,are opionated, and get paid for what i just wrote. We shall see what we shall see.Thats pretty much it.GO SABRES.
Posted: 11:14 PM   by Anonymous
I'm no bigtime writer of a Stanley Cup blog , but I must say you comments are not well informed. I'm originally from Buffalo, and downtown is not dreary. I currently live in Oklahoma, and would love to move back there. I know it's probably a cute cliche that you looked up in some book, but please try to make more relevent and factual comments in the future.

PS When talking about obstacles teams have to overcome, maybe one could be the fact Carolina plays in a city where with less than 24 hours before a game 7, you can still buy 8 seats together for the game? Kinda strange that I don't think this would happen in Buffalo even though fans would have to brave "dreariness of downtown Buffalo" to attend the game.
Posted: 11:15 PM   by Anonymous

Posted: 11:23 PM   by Anonymous
I'm missing a lot of good TV and my internet time is off at least 3-4 hours every night. I'm less informed and I'm behind at work. I think my wife left me during the Avs series, but I'm not sure which game. Go Canes !
Posted: 12:26 AM   by Anonymous
Not to beat a dead horse, but I went to Carolina for game 1, stayed in a downtown hotel, had people ask me if I was headed to the "baseball game" and if you are going to call a downtown dreary look to Raleigh. Sure downtown Buffalo was passed by during the skyscraper building era but I live downtown and its anything but dreary. Raleigh is a sprawling disconnected giant suburb. Sure Buffalo has its problems, but after a playoff game here the city turns into a different being. We just got funny looks from people in Raleigh when we said we were going to the Sabres game. What a joke I feel bad that a talented team like the Hurricanes is forced to play there. Go Sabres!
Posted: 2:21 AM   by Anonymous
"and I'm pretty sure that the stadium is standing room only for game 7, and the only seats available for game 5 were over $150. Raleigh is overrun with yankees who love hockey, as well as those southerners, like me, who have been following the Canes since they moved from Hartford to G-boro. I'm not going to diss Buffalo and their teams that perennially choke (Boy I Love Losing Superbowls) if y'all stop bashing the south for our supposed apathy towards our sports teams."

Fact is, Buffalo sold out their playoff seats in 12 minutes when they went on sale.

After over a day Carolina still had seats left. That should give people a big enough hint as to how dedicated sabres fans are as opposed to carolina (hockey) fans. With how well carolina has done this year, they shouldnt have to worry about selling seats. Its laughable that seats are even left for a playoff game.

If you can manage to even scalp a ticket to a sabres game 150 dollars wouldnt even buy you a quarter of that ticket.

This also shows me a real sense of passion and dedication fans have for the sabres. If your team had a chance to go to the stanley cup finals, there shouldnt be any questions at all as to how many seats are left. It should be nearly impossible to get them.
Posted: 7:39 AM   by Anonymous
Nothing but a whiner
can be found in Carolina
in the morning....
I was impressed with Brin'Amour as a
potential mvp of the Stanley Cup until
I heard all of his whinging and complaining...
He is a hard player, but has gotten away with more
penalties than have been called on him...
for him to complain and whine like the rest of
the team is an NHL disgrace and eliminates him from a choice of MVP....he should be a leader on and off the ice, not a complainer...he is no Gretzky...
Posted: 10:18 AM   by Anonymous
Posted: 10:35 AM   by Anonymous
Just checked, you can still buy 8 tix in the same row for tonight's game. So much for the great support the 'Canes receive from their fan's. Though I'm sure the team and fans will have an excuse for that too.
Posted: 10:49 AM   by bflover
"Writers" who resort to unoriginal and inaccurate cliches in the place of actual experience or research have no place in journalism -- even if that journalism is the very amateur and unprofessional blog variety. Yen, you've just exposed SI.com as the most generous and indifferent employer in publishing with your tiresome stereotype. It's obvious you've never even visited Buffalo, much less spent any amount of significant time here. Your loss, SI.com's loss and, most tragically of all, your readers' loss. I grew up here, disappeared for 20 years to the more "fabulous" environs of NYC and Boston, and came back here to settle 2 years ago. By choice. I chose Buffalo over the "fabulous" places, like NYC and Boston. I found no such dreariness that you speak of. Challenges a plenty, but no dreariness.

Where are you from, Yen? Where have you been? You might want to do me and other writers a favor by actually experiencing a place before you bash it. There's no place for arrogance, pretention and cliche plagarism in journalism. Credibility is sown from actual experience. Just ask Jayson Blair. Oh, wait... Yen doesn't need to ask him; she can just parrot what others have said about him. That should actually raise her credibility to the same level as Jayson's.
Posted: 11:10 AM   by Anonymous
I agree with Sally. Downtown Buffalo is not exactly vibrant save for a few pockets such as Chippewa or Elmwood. It is true Downtown Buffalo is a rundown mess and needs to be fixed, but denying the problem may be the worst thing one can do. There is nothing wrong with loving Buffalo, or wherever you live, and we sure know love can be blind to little blemishes, but please don't be ignorant.
Posted: 11:27 AM   by Curtis
All i have to say is, this has been the best series so far in these playoffs. Both teams deserve to be in the finals, and sadly one of the teams will go home tonight with nothing. I'll also say that yes, the penalties called in the overtimes of games 5 and 6 were bad calls, and consequently cost each respective team the game. However, the notion that Laviolette is the only coaching whining about calls is absurd. Ruff has been complaining equally, if not more, accusing of the Canes of diving every time he gets a chance... Canes will win game 7 and beat the Oilers in 6.
Posted: 12:02 PM   by Anonymous
This is indeed a gut-wrenching series. I couldn't sleep after game 6, thinking about how Carolina got hosed in OT by the refs--well, I guess Buffalo had to win that game "by HOOK or by CROOK." You could say the exact same (and many of you did) about Carolina's PP in OT of game 5. The officiating has been terrible all around, as we all know.

Anyway, enough with all the Buffalo-this and Buffalo-that! The focus ought to be on the hockey games being played, not whether Buffalo has a nightlife. Who cares? There has never been a single hockey game played, won, or lost in a bar or on the streets of downtown Buffalo. Can we get back to hockey? Maybe a more germane thread would include some discussion of the Sabres' chances if they get past this round: can they win the Cup without 3 defensemen and Connolly? You know, a HOCKEY-related discussion.

Finally, a last word on the officiating: In both games 5 and 6, the refs put up their whistles for most of the 3rd period, then magically found them in OT. What sort of crap is that? Either you let 'em play or you don't; there can't be this bait-and-switch thing where you let them scrap for 20 minutes and then when everybody's tired out you tell them to play clean. Given how run-down Buffalo's D was in the 3rd period of game 6, it was a literal game-saver for the refs to make no calls in the period. It allowed, for example, Jay McKee to drape himself over Eric Staal like a sweater everytime Staal was on the ice. I pray that, whatever happens tonight, the refs let the players decide the game--no phantom hooking calls, no diving calls, no boarding calls where the player hit a)doesn't hit the boards and b) isn't hurt, etc. etc. When the officials-and their erratic behavior--became too much a part of the game, basketball ceased to be fun to watch. Hockey is heading for the same thing, and it can't afford to lose ANY fans, especially due to bizarre inconsistency by the refs.

Go Canes!
Posted: 12:04 PM   by Anonymous
Hmm.. I don't recall the Sabres ever getting swept in the Stanley Cup finals...
Posted: 12:49 PM   by Blueball
Yes Buffalo loves it's sports teams. Buffalo fans are definteily regarded as some of the most avid in the country.. that's for sure. But no one can aruge that Buffalo isn't a dreary town. I have been there rcently. I have a close friend who grew up there and lived there most of his life.. he goes back often to visit family. He says it is one of the most depressing places a person could live. So no amount of pissing and moaning here by Buffalo natives is goin to change any reasonable person's mind. Downtown Raleigh is no fun place either... but it isn't "dreary". Raleigh does not currently have the interest in hockey that many northern cities have... but that is because there is more to do here than stayed glued to the TV and the sports page. With Buffalo fans complaining about an honest observation.. they don't really deserve to have the Stanley cup championship brought home to them this year.
Posted: 12:52 PM   by Anonymous
12:39pm and you can STILL get 6 seats together for game 7. PLEASE, NC doesn't deserve a team. oh, and to the one comment, dallas did NOT sweap the sabres... might want to brush up on your hockey history. as for the pot-shot at downtown buffalo, i guess someone that doesn't know anything about hockey needs to comment about something else she doesnt know anything about. a little rough around the edges sure, welcome to the northeast... guess it takes someone with a personality deeper than the contents of Miller's waterbottle to see the thousands of things to do.
Posted: 1:37 PM   by Dave Barley
I know both teams want to win, but to intentionally face plant the way these guys have is a disgrace.
Pominville did it in game 6. I feel like Stillman did it in an earlier game. Play with a little dignity fellas. And may the best team win, not the best actors.
Posted: 2:28 PM   by Anonymous
At the beginning of the series, the Hurricanes limited on-line sales of tickets to only people ordering from neighboring zip codes. Here is Game 7 -- the pinnacle of any playoff series -- and your Hurricanes can't sell out without thousands of Sabres fans travelling 11 hours for the game. The RBC will be rocking tonight -- thanks to Sabres fans! Carolinians support for hockey is PITIFUL any way you look at it.
Posted: 3:01 PM   by Anonymous
Can someone just explain to me where all these passionate, sanctimonious Sabre fans were in 2002-2003 when their team was on the verge of bankruptcy, and their attendence level was far below such hockey hotbeds as Anaheim, Tampa, Florida, and (can that be??) Carolina? Or why if they love their team so much they didn't sellout every game this season?

I'm sure it's not something as simple as people jumping on a bandwagon when the team is doing well ... no, that'd never happen in Hockey Heaven, Western NY. Guess it was all that nightlife and stuff everyone is talking about ...

Here's hoping for a Game 7 befitting the best series this playoff year!!
Posted: 6:46 PM   by Josh
Well, McKee is out tonight.

All I can say is: if Carolina loses to a team that is minus FOUR defensemen and a top forward, they deserve to lose. And probably to get contracted, the building torn down, and the earth salted.

And look out Edmonton...if Buffalo can win without 20% of its team, the Oilers would need Gretzky, Messier, and probably God to dress for them in order to have any chance.
Posted: 10:15 PM   by Blueball
Canes win! I guess the hockey gods weren't very pleased with all those Sabre's fans whining up a storm over an honest observation. I just can't wait to see what all the excuses will be! I gonna go make some popcorn and get ready for the show. They will certainly be creative I'm sure with all the excuse making this time.
Posted: 10:29 PM   by Dave Barley
Today is of course the first day of.................HURRICANE SEASON!!! Go Canes! Good series Buffalo. Could've done with less drama, but it's one to remember.
Posted: 10:46 PM   by Anonymous
Get over it - minus 4 defenseman - if the Canes lost they would have disgraced themselves - the only whiners were in Carolina - but that's the result when you know nothing about hockey. No big deal -a young team like the Sabres will be back next year. Either way, Edmonton Oilers (a real hockey town) in 5. Go Oilers!
Posted: 11:28 PM   by Anonymous
It is true that the Sabres were scrappy and fought hard... but it is also ridiculous for their fans, OLN, and many sport-wire writers to already be discounting the CANES victory due to the depletion of their defensemen corp.

Their chosen defensive style in earlier series (and this one) to pinch hard and block pucks with their bodies...is the reason their defensmen corp. is the very depleted.

Choices...consequences...welcome to the real world. Jim Rutherford gets credit for building a skilled, deep team in Carolina -- with just the right blend of young and veteran talent. The CANES deserve credit for closing this out when the chips were down.

The Sabres deserve credit for a lot of heart and lasting past 6 games.

constantly hear of the
Posted: 11:53 PM   by Anonymous
you say stop whining, then explain away your loss by saying y'all were missing your defensemen. we were missing Erik Cole, our second (?) leading scorer, who has 2 crushed vertebrae in his neck. Face it--y'all were out-played. period.

GO CANES!!!!!!!!!
Posted: 12:06 AM   by Anonymous
The series is over. Now, can we PLEASE have Lindy Ruff's mouth taped shut?
Posted: 12:20 AM   by Curtis
The last time i checked, it doesn't matter whether a team's home-town is a "real hockey town" or not.. Fact is, Canes won. So you sabres fans that aren't willing to give the canes or their fans any credit can go cry about it, then cheer on Edmonton in the finals. Canes will win the series in 7, i think. And to compare Raleigh to Edmonton as far as fanbase is of course a lame comparison. But considering the fact the Canes have been in Raleigh for a whopping 5 seasons, i think the fanbase is just fine.
Posted: 5:19 PM   by Anonymous
I'll cheer for Carolina when they are the new Winnipeg Jets! Don't forget what happened to the Whalers and their small Arena, at least they could sell more seats in it during a playoff game than the RBC center. At least you might be left with a nice AHL franchise, maybe call it the Cat. 3's.
Posted: 12:47 PM   by Anonymous
Hey 'canes fans, how good does it feel that it took seven games to beat the Rochester Americans ?

Plus you couldn't even sell out a game seven without the help of Buffalo fans.
Posted: 1:23 PM   by Justin From Buffalo
Dreary City? Deppressing place to live? Get a clue!

If I'm not mistaken, in an issue of 'Menshealth'(NDC Health), Buffalo was ranked 11th on its list of "happiest cities" (based on suicide rates, antidepressant rates, and cases of depression)

Report about hockey, Don't bash or city without having experienced its positive attributes.

Great Job this year sabres, Cup in 07!
Posted: 10:56 PM   by Anonymous
Stupid comment. I grew up here, and after 23 years of life here wanted nothing more than to get out.

A year ago, I moved back, 110% willingly, I wanted to.

Save the misguided and uninformed comments, please.
Posted: 9:51 AM   by Anonymous
"the dreariness of downtown Buffalo"...Absolutely tactless...