Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Sabres

April 12, 2010

Locals on Sabres: ‘It’s good to be back’

LOCKPORT — It doesn’t matter how far you think the Buffalo Sabres are headed in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, which begin this week, local hockey fans are in complete agreement when it comes to what it means to be back in the postseason.

“First and foremost, it’s great to be back in the playoffs,” exclaimed Starpoint boys varsity tennis coach and local sports fan Rob Olear.

“I think if the Sabres can rally behind (Team USA goalie Ryan) Miller, he might be able to ride his success from the Olympics and carry the team deep into the playoffs.”

The Sabres, after finishing third in the National Hockey League’s Eastern Conference behind the Washington Capitals and New Jersey Devils, will host the No. 6-seeded team, the Boston Bruins, in an NHL Eastern Conference quarterfinal series.

The Sabres/Bruins series opens at 7 p.m. Thursday at HSBC Arena in Buffalo. Game Two of the series is also in Buffalo at 1 p.m. on Saturday. The series heads to Boston next week for games 3 and 4 (see Sabres/Bruins playoff schedule).

There’s good news in Buffalo, as center Tim Connolly skated over the weekend and could return to practice today.

Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said Monday that he’s “optimistic about him practicing and possibly playing Thursday. Connolly is the Sabres’ second-leading scorer with 65 points, despite missing the last nine games because of a foot injury.

Ruff also didn’t rule out forward Jochen Hecht from practicing, though he’s not been skating since missing the last three games with an upper-body injury. Right wing Drew Stafford remains questionable after suffering a slight concussion Saturday against Ottawa.

Former Lockport High School varsity hockey head coach Bill “Judge” Watson, now an assistant coach with the varsity ice Lions and a former player, said the Sabres have been fortunate getting their scoring from a lot of different sources.

Watson said he’s looking to the team’s strong defense to hold the line against the equally-tough Bruins.

“The series with Boston should be a low-scoring one because both teams are coming into the playoffs with hot goaltenders. It’s going to come down to which team can find the net the most.”

Season ticket holders are also optimistic, including avid Lockport golfer Mike Florio.

“I’m like everyone else right now — just happy to be back in the playoffs. It’s been too long for our community that is so supportive of hockey and the Sabres to finally be back,” Florio said.

“The key for us in beating Boston is Ryan Miller. Okay, Miller didn’t win the Olympic gold medal for the U.S., but now he has a shot to help Buffalo win the Stanley Cup. I think we sandbagged a little there at the end of the season, but we we’ll beat the Bruins in five.”

Olear said the power play will important for both the Sabres and the Bruins.

“Vanek’s the key for the Sabres. He didn’t have that great of a regular season, but he’s starting to catch on fire now. Buffalo’s success is also going to depend on how rookie defenseman Tyler Myers plays.”

1
Text Only
Sabres
  • 140417 Sabres ART.jpg Ted Nolan fires most of his assistants

    The overhaul is continuing in Buffalo after Sabres coach Ted Nolan purged most of his staff of assistants on Wednesday.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140416 Sabres' wrap.jpg Sabres officially bottomed out with season over

    Things can't get much worse in Buffalo following a season during which the team set numerous dubious lows.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140411 Sabres Rangers ART.jpg Late goal fells Sabres

    Rick Nash scored the winning goal with 1:42 left, on New York's third shot of the third period, and the Rangers clinched home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs with a 2-1 victory over the NHL-worst Buffalo Sabres on Thursday night.

    April 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140409 Sabres ART.jpg Wings clip Sabres, close in on playoffs

    The Detroit Red Wings inched closer to clinching a playoff berth with a 4-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday night.

    April 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140407 Sabres Flyers ART.jpg Flyers maintain third with win over Sabres

    Brayden Schenn scored two goals, and the Philadelphia Flyers broke a four-game losing streak with a 5-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Sunday night.

    April 6, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140405 Sabres Wings ART.jpg Red Wings hold off gritty Sabres, 3-2

    Daniel Alfredsson had a goal and an assist and the Detroit Red Wings held off the Buffalo Sabres 3-2 on Friday night.

    April 4, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140402 Sabres Devils ART.jpg Lieuwen, Sabres KO the visiting Devils

    Tyler Ennis scored twice in the third period and again in the shootout to lead the Buffalo Sabres to a 3-2 win over the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday night.

    April 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140314 Sabres Canes ART.jpg Another game, another blown lead

    Alexander Semin and Jiri Tlusty scored in a 1:55 span in the third period to give the Carolina Hurricanes the lead in their 4-2 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday night.

    March 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140312 Sabres Predators ART.jpg Predators devour Sabres

    Shea Weber had a goal and an assist and the Nashville Predators won their second straight road game with a 4-1 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday night.

    March 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140308 Sabres ART.jpg No support for Neuvirth

    Roberto Luongo made 25 saves in his return to Florida, while Dmitry Kulikov and Jesse Winchester each scored power-play goals to lead the Panthers over the Buffalo Sabres 2-0 on Friday night.

    March 7, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
Community Events
Photos


Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Front page
AP Video
Seasonal Content
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video
Seasonal Content
Helium debate
Helium
Section Teases

Seasonal Content
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.