Friday, May 11, 2007

Buffal Sabres (1) vs. Ottawa Senators (4)

The Senators have been the most exciting team in the Eastern Conference, handling both the offensive powerhouse of the Pittsburgh Penguins and the topnotch defense of the New Jersey Devils. And all with only dropping 2 games. Perhaps it's a few weeks early to be mentioning the Conn Smythe, but Daniel Alfredsson is certainly making a case. Spezza and Heatley are also playing well, and combined they have been the most potent line in the post season.

Buffalo came into the playoffs with the first spot, and heavily favored to represent the East in the Stanley Cup. And while they have advanced to the Conference finals, it has not been the post season the Sabres wished for. They've only played as well as they've had to, and instead of making quick work of the Islanders and Rangers, they dropped games and played far below potential. The Sabres need Chris Drury, Maxim Afinogenov, and Daniel Briere to step up and put goals on the board.

The bright side in Buffalo has been the consistent play of young starting goaltender Ryan Miller. He's played strong and kept them in games that he should not have had to. Ray Emery has also played well, but thanks to the Senators play he hasn't been tested, and if the Sabres can take the puck to the net hard, they may be able to crack him.

This is a great series, but I don't see it going past a game 5. Buffalo has underachieved, and as a result have had to play more games then Ottawa. Ottawa is playing great, and has been resting. The Sabres have the talented to beat the Senators, but I haven't seen it thus far this season. This may be Buffalo's best shot at a Cup, as in the off season they will face losing players to free agency, but I don't believe it's in the cards. Ottawa in five games.

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