Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Sabres v. Sens

Buffalo Sabres in six games (max.). After reading the posts from Sens fans on and also after reading Scott Burnside's analysis on, I am feeling ornery. I fail to see why the defensive pairings of Anton Volchenkov-Chris Phillips, Tom Preissing-Joe Corvo and Wade Redden-Andrej Meszaros are soooo much better than our top 6.

AV-CP (the number one defensive pair) are a combined -1 and have just 4 points in 10 games, all from Volchenkov.

TP-JC have played very well. They've combined for 11 points are a +6. And they've taken a combined 2 penalty minutes.

WR-AM are a +14 combined and have 7 points. This is a big reversal from the regular season when Maszaros was -15.

For the Sabres ...

Henrik Tallinder and Toni Lydman (number one defensive pair) are a combined -2 and have 5 points in 11 games.

Brian Campbell and Jaroslev Spacek are a combined +5 and have 7 points. They've taken 14 PIM. In this case, all the points have come from Campbell, who is proving to be a BIGTIME playoff performer. Spacek led all Dmen in playoff scoring last year, he's due.

Dmitri Kalinin and Teppo Numminen are an are-you-kidding-me +17 with 7 points.

These numbers are fairly comparable 1-6 for each team, so why does Ottawa have a major advantage (Scott Burnside's line: "This defensive depth gives the Senators a major advantage over the Sabres -- at least on paper.") over the Sabres? I don't see it. And to top it all off, the Sabres have Nathan Paetsch sitting on the bench. He's good enough to dress for probably 20 teams in the league right now.

But the biggest advantage the Sabres have right now isn't the misconception about the D, the ridiculous four-line depth or the far superior coaching. It's Ryan Miller in Net. He's got the unshakables going on. While Ray Emery is one nudge away from going WWE.

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