Well, Ottawa wiped the Sabres off the map in 5. It was a very dissappointing end to a terrific season. Ottawa is a one line offensive wonder, and 2-3 lines of unbeatable defense. Ottawa is no longer a run n gun team that we think they are. They have one line that can score, and thats it. Alfie, Spez, Heatley scored every goal for the senators in rounds 2 and 3, no other line scored (except fisher shorthanded). That is unreal, unbelievble. emery still is their wink link, and his numbers are a byproduct of his team. He is not even close to the same level as goalies liek Brodeur, Hasek, Miller, Giguere. Ottawa is good, and deserves credit for winning.
On the other hand, lets look at what went wrong for the Sabres. First and most importantly; just as the Senators live and die for those 2 power play goals per game, the Sabres powerplay sucked. They were 2 for the series, i think like 2 for 35. If there is a power play coach, he should be fired. Also, the fearsome foursome disappeared. Buffalo's lineup is awesome for the "new" NHL in the regular season, but Ive said this before, they are not built for the playoffs. Last year they may have been the best team remaining but were devastated by injuries. THis year they may have been the best team going in, but were out strategized. Secondly, Miller really stepped up and is showing what we expect of him. He had a warmup round against the Isles in which i rigthfully criticized him, but this is how he should play.
Third, what will happen to the sabres this off season. We have alot of free agents (restricted and un), and our coach and gm need new contracts. It will be tough to keep guys like drury and briere as they will get top dollar out there. Keep one? that appears more reasonable. Vanek is restricted, and he is a bonafide scorer that the Sabres need to keep. As for the coach, he is one of the best in the business but has his time in BUffalo run out? He has been to the conferenece finals 4 times in 9 years and only won once to make it to the cup finals. He has a great record in the playoffs but cant get past that edge. Are we satisfied with the runs we have been having only to be let down when we are close? Coaches are hired to be fired, and Ruff may have to go just to get some new blood in here especially if the team dynamics change over the off season (see above). If not, I am happy to have one of the best coaches back for the next few years, and possibly lead us to the promise land