Buffalo Sabres vs Ottawa Senators
Heres how I see it:
Buffalo is entering this series healthy as can be. They havent been healthier since day 1 of training camp. Ottawa is entering a little bit banged up, but are for the most part healthy as well. Eaves is still weary from a concussion a month ago, and is battling some bruises. he is a gametime decision. Comrie is a little banged up but will battle through.
It is well known that both teams can skate, and both like to play that wide open style. I expect a little bit of this,but it will not be completely wide open, run and gun, run n shoot offence. There will be some defence, but both teams Defence are underated. The Fearsome Foursome must shine. Lindy will go with the same lines he went with in Games 5 and 6 with the Rangers. Ottawa likes to roll four lines as well, but they dont match with the Fearsome Foursome. The Sens have a fabulous line with Alfredsson, Spezza, and Heatley. Look for Drury, Tallinder and Lydman to check these guys. We must control Heatley, he is the sniper. Watchout for Comrie as well, he can score on that 2nd line. For the Sabres, offence has been a little quiet in the past 2 rounds, but they faced two good goalies and have gained more confidence the past 2 games. Look for Roy to emerge in this series, and Vanek to chip in more. Pommer and Max need to step up as well. They should be able to exploit Emery.
As for the goalies: this is the category Buffalo holds a major advantage. Ryan Miller played great in the 2nd round, he needs to play world-class this round. Everyone thinks he is world-class, this is where world-class goalies make their names. Make us proud Miller.
Emery is the worst of the 3 goalies (DiPietro and Lundquist) the Sabres have faced. We should be able to exploit him with some speed, quick puck movement, and slick moves.
Special teams will be a major concern for the Sabres. Ottawa is awesome on the PP. Buffalo has been average on the PK. Special teams can make the difference, especially in the playoffs. The Sabres need to stay out of the box. The Fearsome Foursome needs to use their speed against some of the slower Sens D to get some calls. Briere needs to net some on the PP
The stakes are high, this will be a close series, it will be difficult, its suppose to... as it is the Eastern Conference Finals. The winner goes on to the Cup, the loser goes home.