The Sabres need to realize that right now they have only one purpose in life: to overtake Ottawa in the standings. Being 4 points back with a game at hand and playing the Sens another four times, the stage is set for some fine, playoffesque hockey.
Still, I think Buffalo simply lacks an answer when it comes to the Chara-Redden-Phillips complex, which has smothered our forwards on more than one occasion, and which shall continue to provide Ottawa with the best defense extant regardless of who's between the pipes.
On the flip side, Lydman-Tallinder has exceeded everyone's wildest expectations, providing Buffalo with the closest thing resembling a top defensive pairing, but I'm afraid that a healthy and fully armed Senators team is simply too much for us (and them) to handle.
One step Regier could take to overcome this glaring problem is to provide McKee with a competent partner on the right side, giving Ruff another defensive option at even strength or on the PK. A pairing that can basically lock it down, much like when Warrener was Jay's wingman.
Campbell and Numminen have been pinned deep in their zone and roughed up far to many times than I care to remember, and Fitzy brings McKee down. Throw in a hectic schedule and the uncertainty surrounding Kalinin, Regier has no choice but to try and find the missing piece to the puzzle.
Color me optimistic, because I think Regier pulls it off.
Philly, those b@stards, scored a goal with Nitty pulled at 19:59 of the third to tie it up. They they win it in the shooutout....
Ottawa got spanked 6-2, and it looks like the Rags and Thrash are going to a s/o...
1. * Carolina 62 91
2. * Ottawa 61 87
3. * NY Rangers 61 80
4. Buffalo 60 83
5. Philadelphia 63 80
6. New Jersey 62 72
7. Tampa Bay 62 70
8. Montreal 61 67
9. Atlanta 62 64
If you think about it, Phily winning is not a bad thing. Honestly, I fear New Jersey catching Phily. You you rather play Phily or Jersey in round 1? The Flyers still cannot handle our team speed but Jersey always plays very well vs Buffalo.
How cool would it be to win the President's Trophy?
It could happen if we beat Ottawa and Carolina a couple times in the next few weeks.
I had always been under the impression that President's Cup winners very rarely won the Stanley Cup as well. While the numbers don't suggest a "curse," only six of the 19 teams that won the President's Cup also won the Stanley Cup (which is almost one-third).
I wouldn't mind it if Buffalo stayed under the radar as much as possible. I think home ice advantage is overrated anyway. Besides, anyone recall that the St. Louis Blues won the President's Cup in 2000?
(do I earn my Bob Matthews merit badge for my crack research on that one?)