Saturday, March 3, 2007

Sabres 3, Leaves 1

Two trips up the QEW in one week and two big wins to show for it.

Both teams started out very sluggishly, perhaps the fatigue of having to each play on back to back nights. In the end it was Buffalo who came out on top, thanks to a rare goal by Toni Lydman, another first goal - this time Nathan Paetsch, and this time, Ryan Miller looked VERY solid in net.

For anyone looking at magic numbers, here are some things for standing watchers to digest:

1) Buffalo has now clinched at least 13th seed in the conference - Philadelphia and Washington can not overtake us.

2) Buffalo needs 11 points to clinch 8th seed and cement a spot in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

3) The magic numbers to eliminate division foes from overtaking us are as follows: Boston (11); Montreal (8); Toronto (11) and Ottawa (22). Any combination of Buffalo points or points that the aformentioned teams don't earn reduces these numbers accordingly.

4) Magic number to clinch 1st seed overall: New Jersey (29). Here is where we got a ways to go and realistically speaking, the Devils are probably the only team with any chance of overtaking the Sabres.

President's Trophy for first overall? We're not gonna go there right now - Nashville, Detroit and Anaheim are thrashing it out for the lead in the West, and that is a real dogfight. Nashville and Detroit will play each other four more times in the regular season.

A division championship will be sweet - it means a banner to hang. First overall in the conference gets us home ice for the first three rounds so that is goal number two.

It's starting to feel like October again... win after win after win. What a great time for this to be all coming together!

Up next: a three game in four night homestand starts Wednesday with Colorado. Peter is covering Wednesday and Saturday, I am covering Friday and attending as a fan Saturday. Our buddies Gary Herman and Mike "The King" Casiano are coming to town next Saturday from NYC on a sports road trip, and we're looking forward to enjoying their "karma" for the Sabs on their visit!

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