Who is ready for the NHL Playoffs? Although I think the, "Because its the cup" slogan for this years playoffs is a complete miss compared to the prior, "History Will Be Made" edition. The NHL playoffs are still very easy to get geared up for regardless. If you haven't seen the highlights or watched the Buffalo/Toronto game from last night, do it now! For my boy @Brimau5, another blogger for the beauties at Wheels Hockey, it was another piss poor game that didn't favor the Maple Leafs. But, just a hop, skip and a jump away, die-hard Buffalo Sabres fans, especially Matt Keeler founder of Just Dangle Hockey (@JustDangle) it was nothing short of maybe the most annoying word ever, EPIC!
Regardless if Buffalo wins that game in OT or not, you have to love there chances in the shootout. Ryan Miller and the Sabres, with help of horrid defensive play early, were fixing to climb out of not just a hole, but an abyss. When you need 2 points that badly and forget to show up for the first period it does not say much for your teams playoff chances. However, this is probably a huge reason why we have seen 170 coaching changes throughout the NHL while Lindy Ruff has been a coach in Buffalo. The man knows how to coach plain and simple. Whatever he said, or even didn't say to that Sabres team in between periods, made for one hell of a game.
Obviously if you haven't been able to tell by now, I am an East-Coaster. Following every team in the east inside and out. Players, stats, coaches, standings and even some background information. I think the ultimate fans of hockey, enjoy watching any game regardless of the teams. Don't get me wrong I will never miss a Bruins game. I won't even miss the Bruins on Thursday when half of Providence is called up. But, I would sit down any night of the week and watch any 2 teams battle it out. The game last night in Buffalo was just an appetizer for what is about to happen in this years playoffs. After watching that game last night, The NYR better be praying they do not run into the Buffalo Sabres in the first round. I think we all expect the Sabres to give anyone a run if they make the dance. Boston will likely be matched up with Ottawa (Thank-you) Florida with the Devils, and of course Pittsburgh against Philly, in the fight for Pennsylvania.
I am not going to touch on playoff match-ups other than supporting Mike Milbury. Regardless of the way he bashed Crosby on National Television, I am the first person to agree with him. I don't like the Penguins, I don't like Sidney Crosby and I don't like watching Dan Bylsma hide behind his assistant coach when Peter Laviolette is ready to pound him. When it comes to Pittsburgh and the referees it's like a Strip Club, "No Touching"!!!
To re-iterate my point about this blog is that early points in the NHL matter just as much as the down the stretch points as well. Somewhere along the way there is a game or a series of games that Buffalo should have won, whether it be before the All Star Break or after. We see countless blogs pertaining to how boring the Trade Deadline is now. That is because teams can not afford to make big moves if they think it is going to cost them even one game. Out West we are dealing with the exact same problem! A bunch of teams moving 3 positions every time they win or lose a game. GM's have a hard job people!! Early points are crucial. Whether or not Buffalo makes the playoffs this year, last night was magical and gave everyone a taste of what the playoffs are all about. Nobody plays the game of Hockey to finish 9th.