Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Buffalo Sabres make it into the Stanley Cup Eastern Conference Finals again

I haven’t posted any hockey news and that’s mostly because I’ve been watching a lot of hockey games. The Buffalo Sabres have once again returned to the Eastern Confernce Finals. I have a good feeling still this year. I am very much looking forward to seeing my Sabres in the Stanley Cup Finals.

Let’s recap a little. The first series in round 1 against the Islanders was fantastic hockey. Islanders played better than expected. Sabres didn’t play as well as I expected. They still managed to pull off some amazing third periods and just managed to pull the games out of their ass. They won the series in five games. Goaltending on both ends of the ice was amazing. Ryan Miller for the Sabres had the edge though definitely. Chris Drury gave us some timely goals as well. But the great part about watching the Sabres this season is that it’s a true team effort and this was evident in the games against the Islanders as we were getting goals by a bunch of different team members.

The second round the Sabres played the New York Rangers. The Rangers had been red hot going into the playoffs and they disposed of the Atlanta Thrashers quickly. I wasn’t sure how the Sabres were going to react. They came out fighting but the goaltending of Henrik Lundqvist. He was out of this world. Miller didn’t disappoint at the other end of the ice either. This was flat out amazing hockey. Highly entertaining and just exciting to watch. I was impressed by the play of both teams. Sabres seemed to handle the Rangers well in the first two games. First game they scored 5 goals and beat them 5-2, but the next game was tighter checking and the Sabres squeaked by with just a 2-1 win. The Rangers took the next 2 games, but fought hard to win. The game went into double OT and was thrilling. Game 4 was more all Rangers and the Sabres just didn’t seem like they could get it together against the Rangers. Maxim Afinogenov was even benched and didn’t play game 4 because of his poor performance. The Rangers were surging and I was worried. But fear not, the Sabres came back home and didn’t want to disappoint their fans. Despite a scoreless first 3 periods, the Rangers finally score one within the last 3 minutes. Drury ties the game with a goal on Lundqvist within the last 17 seconds of the game. This pushes another overtime game and Afinogenov pulls it out and scores the winning goal in OT. That showed heart and determination and I just wanted to finish this series for the sake of my heart. All the OT’s were killing me. Game 6 was all Sabres, but the Rangers wouldn’t die. They kept fighting. Both teams continued to score big in this game and the Sabres won by a score of 5-4. All in all, a really great series and if you’re a hockey fan, this one had it all.

Now, we bring on the Ottawa Senators. This is the team that had the big brawl earlier in the season with the Sabres. These are bitter rivals and both teams have something to prove. The Senators want to prove that they can play well in the playoffs. The Sabres want to prove that they won’t crack. We are healthier than last year, more confident as a team and playing fantastic hockey. In my opinion, the Sabres got this series too, but we’ve got to win 4 first before we go to the finals.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the Sabres are a team of destiny this year. It all started last year with their surprising run for the cup. This year, there have been no surprises. We won the President’s trophy for having the most points in the entire NHL this season. That team normally doesn’t win the cup, but the Sabres have proven that their not a normal team. They are on a mission to bring the first professional sports championship to the city of Buffalo. The fans want it, need it maybe even. The energy that I’m feeling when watching the games tell me they can do it. 

LET’S GO BUFFALO!!! I’ll be watching the games.

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