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To Watch or Not To Watch

Wednesday, 10.04.2006 / 12:00 AM / News
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To Watch or Not To Watch

October 4, 2006
By Brian Wheeler

Tonight's season opener for the Buffalo Sabres will be a bittersweet affair. With elevated expectations by fans and media alike, and a team that is returning nearly all of its starters from last season, the Sabres are champing at the bit to try and recreate the magic of 2005-06. But they will have to endure a party at their own expense in order to do just that.

Buffalo will be the uninvited guests at the Carolina Hurricanes' Stanley Cup banner raising ceremony in the RBC Center tonight (Versus, 7 p.m.), the site of their season-ending Game 7 loss last season.

To watch or not to watch, that is the question.

"We've had discussions on it," said Ruff. "Really, it's their party and I don't know if they really want us part of it.

"For myself, I wouldn't bother me [to see the banner raised]."

Being 20 minutes away and falling just short of the Stanley Cup Finals has left a scar with some players in the locker room. Whether or not the banner raising will be like pouring salt in an open wound varies.

Defenseman Brian Campbell still doesn't like to talk about the season-ending loss and admits that he didn't watch the Stanley Cup Finals, while goaltender Ryan Miller is treating tonight as just another game.

Some, like Ruff and defenseman Teppo Numminen, are trying to see the silver lining in the situation.

"It's a vision of something that you want," said Ruff. "That a year from now you would like to be there. I think that is motivation."

Added Numminen: "It's a good reminder for us as to what the goal is and what we can achieve here. It's a special event, so in a way it's ok to be there."

Two advantages, one practical and one superstitious, seem to come about by being absent from the ceremony.

Staying in the locker room would allow the Sabres to warm-up right up to game time and would prevent the team from being packed into a bench that is suitable for approximately 15 skaters.

The superstitious advantage comes directly from Carolina, who opened the 2005-06 season in Tampa Bay and was a no-show when the Lightning celebrated their championship.

"We may have to copy what they did because it seemed to work for them," joked Ruff.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

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