Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Hurricanes 4, Sabres 3
Series tied 1-1

"Yeah, I wouldn't consider that a narrow defeat by any means."
— Sabres head coach Lindy Ruff

Like the man said: It may have been a 4-3 final score, but this was no nail-biter. Carolina outshot Buffalo 35-19 — 28-10 in the first two periods — and Sabres netminder Ryan Miller was a busy lad. (Andrew Ladd, on the other hand, was not and played only 4:31.)

TSN's Bob McKenzie said on Sunday that the Sabres defence would be fine without both Dmitri Kalinin and Teppo Numminen, but I find it difficult to comprehend how a team wouldn't be hampered by moving from a six defencemen rotation to only using five — which is, in effect, what happened given that Doug Janik, seeing his first NHL action in two years, played only four minutes.

Numminen was averaging 22-23 minutes a game these playoffs for the Sabres, and no amount of shuffling can really make up for a guy of his talents. Brian Campbell's been great these playoffs in about 16 minutes a game, but the 22+ he played last night were far too many — especially given his modest defensive game. Buffalo has a smallish defence core anyway, and Soupy's the smallest of the bunch.

Cory Stillman and Justin Williams were two guys who played well in the Hurricanes three wins over Buffalo during the regular season (Stillman: 5 points, Williams: 3 goals), and they've started to make an impact here.

To be honest, I haven't seen as much of this series' first two games as I'd have liked, and as I'm heading out of town this weekend, I may not really get to unless it goes to Game 6 and 7.

1 Comments:

At 5:24 PM, May 23, 2006, Anonymous Don said...

This was a strange game to watch. The calls were inconsistent at best. Overall it was a very poor job by the refs. The Canes clearly outplayed the Sabres. I found it odd that Lavalamp called out the Sabres for diving in the third. Stillman clearly dove to draw a PP in the first that led to a goal. He is beginning to sound like the boy who cried wolf. Hasen't he accused NJ and MTL of diving as well?

 

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