– With Zubrus almost certainly out for tomorrow’s game, everybody is wondering who will take his roster spot. It seems to be down to three players: Dan Paille, Drew Stafford and Nathan Paetsch. Paille is the best defensive forward on the list, Stafford is probably the most balanced, and Paetsch provides the ability to play forward or on the blueline, plus he can be inserted on the powerplay.
– With the concurrent announcement that Lindy Ruff will not break up the all-center line of Chris Drury, Tim Connolly and Derek Roy, Buffalo is also trying to figure out who to put at center between Afinogenov and Vanek. Options at this point appear to be Adam Mair and Ales Kotalik. Kotalik played center before his NHL days, and has filled in at center in Buffalo when needed, while Mair played his share of center when the injury bug bit during March.
– More on the Buffalo woman who got beat up by Ottawa fans here and here. Based on my personal experiences with Ottawa fans, this is not even close to their usual behavior. I won’t even attend Leaf games in Buffalo because of the crowd that Toronto ships down here, but I enjoy Ottawa games because I think their fans that follow the team are everything a hockey fan is supposed to be. Knowledgeable, intelligent and relatively humble, I usually end up in at least one good hockey conversation every time they come to visit. Just like with tales of horror we hear from other barns about Buffalo fans, to judge a fanbase by it’s worst examples would be pretty foolish, although it doesn’t stop a few bloggers out there, now does it?
– This article in the Globe and Mail just pissed me off.
Buffalo fans, long the most nervous in sports because of their history of sporting disasters, are back on the bandwagon. The same folks who were abandoning ship last weekend when the Sabres lost the first two games at home to the Senators were seen knocking women and children out of the lifeboats in their hurry to get back on the good ship Sabres.
Talk about completely missing the pulse of a city. There were 10,000 people inside HSBC Arena for Game 4 – a game played in Ottawa. There were more comments of “we believe” left on this site after Game 3 than I thought possible. Sure, the realist in all of us knows what a longshot it is, but I heard very few people saying “they’re done”. As I said in a previous post, winning four straight isn’t very realistic, but this team has so often defied realism that anything is possible. And even those who did say we don’t have a chance being down 3-0, it’s not like they stopped being Sabre fans – they just calculated the odds, that’s all. Let’s just say that it sounds like the author of the piece, David Shoalts, sounds like he has some sort of ax to grind against Buffalo and wrote what he thought the reaction should be instead of actually doing real reporting. Because the reaction around here was the opposite of what he wrote.