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SLY NOTES: A TUESDAY IN TORONTO

Wednesday, 03.30.2011 / 10:26 AM
By Kevin Sylvester - Sabres "Hockey Hotline" Host / SLY NOTES
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SLY NOTES
SLY NOTES: A TUESDAY IN TORONTO

Gilbert Perreault (left) and Rene Robert speak at the a public memorial service for Rick Martin (Photo: Bill Wippert)
-As I sat in the media center of the Air Canada Centre on Tuesday, things felt pretty good compared to a week ago.  The entire organization and community was grieving the loss of legend and friend Rick Martin, and we had a narrow lead on Carolina for the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference.  Now, the sun was out and our friend’s life had been celebrated with extreme class and style, and the Sabres are still holding onto a playoff spot with the chance of moving up depending on how things play our over the next couple of games.   Patience is tough to have, but usually is rewarding.   Now that could, and possibly has, all changed by the time you’re reading this, but I don’t believe that will be the case. 

-Hats off to Corey Martin for the passionate and loving eulogy of his father. 

-Isn’t the number ‘7’ behind each net a great tribute? 

-It’s hard to believe (at the time of writing this) that there are just seven games remaining in the season.  The season flies once we hit St. Patrick’s Day.  I’ve spoken to many fans and friends that think it's great how we’re finishing the season strong heading into a possible postseason berth.  Many of the same folks cite how last year, the Sabres eased in as the Northeast Division champions.  That’s actually not the case if you look at the numbers.  I looked at the final 15 games of the season last year and compared them to where the team is at this year.  It’s a bit of a stretch since only nine of the final 15 have been completed this year.  But this is more about last year than this year.  In the closing portion of the 2009-2010 season, the Sabres finished 9-6 with that big win in Ottawa (Vanek scored four  goals) in the second to last game.  That’s not coasting or easing in my opinion.  This year is not different, so far, as the team is 5-3-1 in the first nine of the final 15.  We all certainly hope the first round, should the team stay in position, is different this year. 

-Never trust directions from anybody who works at The Buffalo News.  OK, that may not be fair to all the employees of The News, but too bad.  What am I talking about?  Here you go.  During a lunch break in Toronto, John Vogl of The News was headed out the door the same time as the Sabres’ Web guru and me.  We asked where he was headed, and he said “a couple of blocks” up the street for a shawarma.  Yes, we had the same question:  what the heck is a shawarma?  It’s a middle eastern “sandwich” or “burrito.”   Never ones to shy away from a new experience and curiosity, the Guru and I tagged along as it was only a couple of blocks.  A couple of blocks turned into at least eight in a -5 degree wind chill.  Another ‘sh’ word was uttered several times and believe me, it wasn’t ‘shawarma.’  The story does have a happy ending as the shawarmas were quite good and packed with healthy stuff.  Now that I think about it, maybe he did me a favor.  I could probably use more long walks for healthy food (easy Guru). 

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Hodgson 72 20 24 -26 44
T. Ennis 80 21 22 -25 43
D. Stafford 70 16 18 -19 34
C. Ehrhoff 79 6 27 -27 33
C. Stewart 63 15 11 0 26
C. Conacher 79 7 19 1 26
T. Myers 62 9 13 -26 22
Z. Girgensons 70 8 14 -6 22
M. Foligno 74 7 12 -17 19
J. McBain 69 6 11 -13 17
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
M. Neuvirth 4 8 2 .921 2.78
J. Enroth 4 17 5 .911 2.82