Sabres vs. Bruins: When will I get my couch back?

Buf-upright_medium             Bos-se_medium

(3) Buffalo Sabres (45-27-10) vs. (6) Boston Bruins (39-30-13)

SBN coverage: Die by the Blade | Stanley Cup of Chowder

Before we get to the poll and a story (after the jump), a fun "will he or won't he?" article from Sun Media about Nystrom the Younger, who is headed to the World Championship to play for Team USA and his future coach Scott Gordon: Nystrom Not Aiming for Isles.

Thursday, April 15 at Buffalo, 7:00 p.m. CBC
Saturday, April 17 at Buffalo, 1:00 p.m. NBC, CBC
Monday, April 19 at Boston, 7:00 p.m. VERSUS, CBC
Wednesday, April 21 at Boston, 7:00 p.m. VERSUS, CBC
*Friday, April 23 at Buffalo, 7:00 p.m. CBC
*Monday, April 26 at Boston, 7:00 p.m. CBC
*Wednesday, April 28 at Buffalo, 7:00 p.m. CBC

I'm sorry to say I haven't watched much of either the Sabres or the Bruins this season. (Okay, not that sorry about the Bruins; whatever entertainment they'd provide was likely mitigated by all their injuries.) So I'm stuck with what I've read and what I know from previous viewings and their performance against the Islanders -- both of which could be way off.

But since my good friend (I was his best man, which is a fancy title for, "Chief of Making Sure Groom Shows up to Wedding Basically Sober and on Time") is a Sabres fan, and Versus is only showing part of this series, and I have Center Ice -- well, he's going to be squatting my couch for the next couple of weeks. Which means I'm gonna be watching some B on B action.

(It was pretty awkward on my couch back in 2001 when Darius Kasparaitis beat Dominik Hasek in OT to eliminate the Sabres. I was pulling for Mario Lemieux -- and then when Kaspar was the guy who scored, well...I tried to temper my enthusiasm as my friend had just been punched in the gut by a guy who was impossible to like if he hadn't played for your team.)

My buddy also hates the Jacobses for their years of being cheapskates during the Ray Bourque years, so he's not only rooting for his hometown Sabres -- he's ready to take extra joy if they hit Jacobs in the wallet. But he's also a world-weary cynic used to disappointment...

Disappointing to me is the news Jochen Hecht is out. I don't even know if the German is still as effective as he once was, but I always liked him, and his do-the-little things game can be fun to watch when the stakes are highest. I remember when the German Olympic team seemed like Olaf Kolzig and Hecht. It was cool watching Jochen become an NHLer.

I'm not the only one who will miss him:


GP G A P +/- PIM PPG SHG GWG TOI SOG PCT
2009-10 - Jochen Hecht 79 21 21 42 14 35 3 0 2 17:11
224 9.4

Two Goalies Enter, One Goalie Leaves

For the behind-the-numbers inclined, there are a couple of interesting cases made that the Bruins underachieved this year just as much as they overachieved last year. Now, why that "over" or "under" achievement should stop now, of all times, instead of at any other random point during a season, I don't know. But these two teams might be closer than you'd think about a team that was up for the #2 seed until the final days of the season and a team that used those final days to squeak into the playoffs.

I figure Buffalo goes as Ryan Miller and their offense go; but then Boston goes as Tukka Rask and their offense goes. With the Bruins more banged up (both currently and cumulatively), I'd still be inclined to bet on Buffalo. But there's a good reason I don't gamble on athletes. Time to watch the games.


GP MIN W L GA GAA SA SV SV% SO
2009-10 - Ryan Miller 69 4047 41 18 150 2.22 2098 1948 .929 5


GP MIN W L GA GAA SA SV SV% SO
2009-10 - Tuukka Rask 45 2562 22 12 84 1.97 1221 1137 .931 5

Prediction of Sorts

Head Says: Sabres in seven.    Heart Says: You know what? Sabres in seven. I love intradivisional playoff series -- the longer the better. A Sabres win in seven would be fun and would satisfy my good friend (excluding his cardiac health, of course). Then again, that'd mean he'll be controlling the remote well into Round 2...

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