May 02, 2006

For Drury, Winning Is Not the Only Thing: Drury, co-captain and center, has helped the Buffalo Sabres to a franchise-best 52 regular-season victories and a 3-2 lead over the Philadelphia Flyers in their first-round N.H.L. playoff series. As a youth, his Greater Bridgeport (Conn.) hockey team won the United States national amateur championship in 1989. Five months later, he hit and pitched his team from Trumbull, Conn., to the Little League World Series title with an upset of Taiwan. But after all that, winning is not the only thing on Drury's mind. i now have MY hockey team to get behind, least, as long as Drury is there.

posted by Folkways to hockey at 03:01 PM - 54 comments

sorry for the fucked-up last sentance, fix it if ya would please "I now"... Too mamy pills and not enough thrills got to me. I really did like this article though.

posted by Folkways at 03:06 PM on May 02

I think Buffalo will get past the Flyers and when they do, it will be an awesome series with the Sens.

posted by NoMich at 03:10 PM on May 02

I thought the winner of the Buf-Phi series faced NJ.

posted by diastematic at 03:50 PM on May 02

By the way, the only reason I nitpicked on that is because Ottawa scares the heck out of me. They're very good. Fortunately Buffalo's playing at the top of its game.

posted by diastematic at 03:51 PM on May 02

My favorite Drury moment was in the 2001 Cup finals against Jersey, he broke in all alone on Marty and slid the puck in between Marty's skate and the right post. There was no margin for erroe he had 4 inches to put the puck through. That goal changed the series.

posted by HATER 187 at 03:53 PM on May 02

I thought the winner of the Buf-Phi series faced NJ. You have to excuse NoMich, he is assuming that the Canes will beat the Habs. If Montreal wins that series then they will face Ottawa and NJ will play the winner of the Buf/Phi series. Both game sixes are on tonight too, man, decisions decisions decisions.

posted by njsk8r20 at 03:57 PM on May 02

Yeah, I guess I was assuming a victory tonight, but on a subconcious level. I would never conciously assume that the Canes could get past anybody. Even the Godless Habs. (Just kidding, just kidding. I actually like the Habs).

posted by NoMich at 04:06 PM on May 02

I'm getting tired of reporters using the "franchise-best" X wins or Y points talking about this season. This season is the first in NHL history where games could not end in a tie, and three points were automatically awarded as soon as a game went to overtime. There were more points and wins in circulation than ever. It's no surprise there were so many "franchise-best" team records.

posted by qbert72 at 04:15 PM on May 02

(fixed post)

posted by justgary at 04:36 PM on May 02

Anaheim, Carolina, Buffalo, Dallas...who else is on the "franchise best" list?

posted by garfield at 04:59 PM on May 02

I'll give a dollar to anyone who has OLN and is willing to put an ichat camera on the Sabres game...and then shares it with me. Yes, it's come to that. Choppy video is better than none at all. And those WGR audio streams...man that filler music is worse than the commercials themselves!

posted by diastematic at 06:09 PM on May 02

Well what do you know, Yahoo! is showing the Mtl/Car game. So I got that game on the cpu and the Buf/Phi game on the boob tube. Freakin sweet!

posted by njsk8r20 at 06:36 PM on May 02

sk8tr, thanks for the link. I had no idea Yahoo did that. I was getting tired of watching buffalo beat the hell out of the Flyers on OLN anyway. Nah, just kidding. I always like watching the Flyers lose.

posted by Samsonov14 at 07:19 PM on May 02

Yeah, it doesn't really get old, does it?

posted by chicobangs at 07:25 PM on May 02

It's a beautiful sign of spring, like that first hint of warm breeze with a slight sweet scent.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 09:34 PM on May 02

was getting tired of watching buffalo beat the hell out of the Flyers on OLN anyway. So, after Bishop rants and raves about how everyone put down the Flyers, in the next two games they get outscored 10-1 and are knocked out of the playoffs. Any chance we'll see a FPP from the Comcast/Flyers website? Maybe this one?

posted by grum@work at 09:46 PM on May 02

Interesting playoff development: In the Eastern conference, the top 4 seeds (Ottawa, Carolina, NJ, Buffalo) have made it to the next round. In the Western conference, it's quite possible (if Anaheim wins tomorrow) that the bottom 4 seeds (San Jose, Anaheim, Colorado, Edmonton) will make it to the next round. I don't think too many people picked San Jose to get home ice advantage for the next two rounds...

posted by grum@work at 09:49 PM on May 02

Flyers losing is old. Very old. Old and stale. Like moldy bread. Or flat beer. Old. Very old. I have an honest question: Why do people hate the Flyers so much? I have my typical rivalry teams (like the Rangers), but it seems like everyone hates the Flyers. I don't want to hijack a thread, but with the above posts, i'm curious.

posted by SummersEve at 06:11 AM on May 03

I'm a Bruins fan (if such a thing exists; maybe a Bruins fan in stasis) and I like the Flyers for their Broadstreet Bully heritage. And they're wicked 70s logo. And the fact my tabletop hockey as a kid was Flyers v. Rangers. I think the anti-Flyers sentiment you perceive here is a reaction to the touts.

posted by yerfatma at 07:09 AM on May 03

Yeah, like so many bands and religions, it's not the team, it's their fans.

posted by chicobangs at 07:25 AM on May 03

That's exactly it. I dislike all Philly teams more or less for that reason. I'm not saying all Philly fans are bad, SummersEve, I'm just saying that Philadelphia seems to have the ones that you notice in a bar or on TV or at a game for being the rudest and least sportsmanlike.

posted by Samsonov14 at 07:44 AM on May 03

I am HATER's complete lack of suprise. I dreaded this matchup towards the end of the season and if the fucking devils didn't pull out 4 goal come back on the last day of the regular season these playoffs would have shaped up so much differently. Fucking Lou Lamerillo.

posted by HATER 187 at 07:53 AM on May 03

No - I dislike the Flyers AND their fans. Mostly because the Flyers beat the Leafs a lot and have a goon for a GM (who totally blew it by signing Rathje and Hatcher to big deals - those guys are officially pylons now), but also because Flyer fans are easily the loudest, most obnoxious fans in hockey (in my experience). Buffalo took 'em out to the woodshed. That was a total face-slap game. To lose like that at home is embarassing. I would know - The Flyers did it to the Leafs two years ago in a game seven.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 08:04 AM on May 03

I don't like the team because of the GM. Bobby Clarke was a dirty little rat (see 1972 Summit Series), and the way he handled the Lindros affair and whined about officiating a couple of years ago just became too much.

posted by grum@work at 08:18 AM on May 03

totally blew it by signing Rathje and Hatcher to big deals Yeah those guys suck, but there is a little bit of youth movement in Philly. Carter, Umberger, Richards, Gagne, Pitkanen, tht Finnish goalie, Gauthier, Meyer. Some of these guys stick around and you still have a good core of players to work with.

posted by HATER 187 at 08:34 AM on May 03

I don't know enough Flyers fans to have an opinion about them, but Bobby Clarke is a tool, as is his most beloved acquisition of all time, Eric Lindros.

posted by qbert72 at 08:42 AM on May 03

Yeah, well, Gauthier is not going to convert a lot of non-Flyer fans to the cause if he keeps cheap-shotting and running people into the boards when they're nowhere near the puck.

posted by chicobangs at 08:50 AM on May 03

They call that being feisty. In all seriousness though, the kid can hit hard there really is no excuse for the cheap shite.

posted by HATER 187 at 09:04 AM on May 03

Now as a loyal Sabres fan i don't know if I should be afraid of the Sens. now that the 'Canes have beaten the Canadians. I mean come on now we're playing the second best team (in my opinion behind the Sabres) but I'm still not completely convinced the Sabres could win 4 of 7 games against Ottawa. They won only one game in regulation against them and got blown out other times. I love this Sabres team and it is by far the best team we've had I'm just worried still. On the Flyers, in game 6 they we're just not interested. I mean look at the play when The Sabres iced the puck and Hatcher and another Flyers' player were skating back for it and Mike Grier just completely out skated them both and got to the puck first. Now rumor in Buffalo is once Esche was pulled he started destroying things in the locker room and in my opinion he had every right to. He didn't play the best game but there just was no support. I think the Flyers like some other teams need to restart theyre teams. In the new NHL teams like the Flyers are getting out skated by teams with speed, like the Sabres. I think the Sabres are an example of what it will take to win in this new NHL, chemistry, and speed. Although I have doubted everything the Sabres did up until today it is worth the lossing to get to this team that should be good for many years to come. Go Sabres.

posted by buffalo will never win at 09:26 AM on May 03

Two things really impress me about Buffalo... First, they play their system so well, and function as a unit both defensively and offensively. Second, they're so balanced, there's almost no letdown between the four lines. It will be interesting to see how they do against the Sens... Was the Flyers defense really that bad or is the Buffalo attack just that good? I've said it 100 times in here, Esche was hung out to dry so many times in this series. I wouldn't have blamed him if he went out to the players' parking lot and keyed everyone's cars. Drury's goal at the end of the second on Niittymaki sums it up. Rathje stood and watched as Nitty made two tough saves. On the third whack Drury scored. Rathje should have charged for a ticket. I'm so happy he has four years left on his deal.

posted by SummersEve at 10:00 AM on May 03

I think the Sabres will find that the Sens possess the team speed to keep up and the deep defence to withstand all four lines. They can match the speed up front, too. I also think that Ryan Miller can win games and that the Sabres are playing wonderfully right now - but it's a totally different match-up from the Flyers. If the Sabres can keep up their impressive physical play, this becomes the most entertaining of the second round series to watch. I'm going with the Sens in 6. Just too much firepower. NJ is going to be so tough for Carolina - NJ in 5. (may be changed by the time we post in the lockerroom).

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 10:22 AM on May 03

I'll call Sabres in 7. I agree, the Sabres and Sens negate eachother's speed, but the real differential is in net; Emery vs. Miller. Also, the Sabres were owned by the Sens earlier in the season, but gradually built up the confidence to play with Ottawa, winning the last couple of match ups. Could be the best round of the entire tournie. Northeast Represent! I'll go with Carolina in 6. The Devils lack of scoring depth will be exposed in this round. Carolina has found its play-off gear, and hasn't lost since it found it.

posted by garfield at 10:48 AM on May 03

I think this series will be decided by Ray Emery. He's still a big question mark for me.

posted by qbert72 at 10:51 AM on May 03

That, and we have a game 7 tonight! /psyched

posted by qbert72 at 10:58 AM on May 03

Seriously. Huge Game. Something to note; the West has two cinderellas: Sharks and Ducks. Which is what Calgary was in 03-04. Hmmm.....

posted by garfield at 11:05 AM on May 03

I don't think it is hating the Flyers or the Eagles for that matter. I think it is hating the "city of brotherly love". Talk about an oxymoron. I also don't think it totally is the city, but the fans. Philly fans are horrible. It is one thing to jeer visiting teams and their fans, it is another to hurt them. How many other cities have a jail and courthouse INSIDE it's stadiums? Philly is the only one I know of. Sabres dominated because they were young, the Flyers were just too tired by the time game 5 and 6 rolled around. Should be a great series between Sabres and Senators. Plus, good close city rivalry. Just drive right across the Peace Bridge and you are there.

posted by Stealth_72 at 11:43 AM on May 03

Just drive right across the Peace Bridge and you are there. The Senators don't play in Hamilton.

posted by qbert72 at 11:53 AM on May 03

... Or anywhere near it. Garf! We've totally picked opposites - let the rivalry commence! I think the first series has overinflated the actual skill level of the Sabres. The Sens already played one run and gun team and hosed them. The Sabres played a slow dinosaur team and hammered them. I think the Sabres will be surprised by the quality and consistent attack of the Sens. They're as fast, more skilled and bigger. Plus, they have more experience. Agreed that Emery is the critical factor. But he has performed thus far. Miller hasn't exactly faced that much pressure yet. Buffalo walked all over them save for game 3 and 4. It's not total saves - it's crucial ones. Both goalies should either be considered strengths given the round 1 results, or question marks, given their respective playoff pedigrees. But until otherwise proven, I would say that Miller is more "for real".

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 12:15 PM on May 03

I'm setting the over/under on total goals in the Buffalo/Ottawa series at 50. I'm figuring 7 games and at LEAST a combined average of 7 goals a game. When people want to know what the "new NHL" is like, tell them to watch this series. If they want to see what the "new NHL + historic rivalry" looks like, turn to the Battle of Alberta (if it comes to pass). I'm still pulling for a Calgary/SJ/Buffalo/NJ semifinals, but I'm just going to be a regular hockey fan during those series.

posted by grum@work at 12:17 PM on May 03

The Devils lack of scoring depth will be exposed in this round. John Madden and Jamie Langenbrunner have found thier scoring touch. The Devils scored 17 goals in 4 games, with goals coming from 3 different lines. Besides scoring over 4 goals per game they also only allowed 1 goal against per game. The Canes will put up a good fight, I see all 6 games being won by only 1 goal, but the Devils will prevail. You hear me NoMich? It's on beeyatch! The Ottawa/Buffalo should be great one with probably 6 or 7 goals scored in each game. I see another Sabres team winning all of thier home games. They will have to steal one on the road to win the series, which they will, in game 7.

posted by njsk8r20 at 12:23 PM on May 03

Screw Madden and Langenbrunner. Gionta, that damn gnat, is the real Canes killer in that bunch. He's gonna score like it's election day in Chicago; early and often.

posted by NoMich at 12:30 PM on May 03

Qbert - sorry, should have researched a bit before posting. thanks for correcting me.

posted by Stealth_72 at 12:32 PM on May 03

Oh, it is on brutha. And, to be honest, my head says the Sens. But I've watched the Sabres more this year, so I'll go with what I know. When Varada's line makes it on the ice, that is when the Sabres' depth will make a difference. njsk8r, I'll give you Jamie, but Madden has been quiet all year except for one game. And do you really think the Rangers put up much of a fight? I don't, although the winning streak is hard to see past. Is Elias skating with Gomer and Gionta? If so, nighty-night. But I think Elias is with Jamie, so we'll see how two scoring lines does against three. Definite edge in net, but I'm thinking the new-NHL will prevail.

posted by garfield at 12:34 PM on May 03

he Devils scored 17 goals in 4 games, with goals coming from 3 different lines. Against the Rangers. A depleted Rangers team no less. Carolina is going to be a different beast, especially with the confident goaltender they have now. NJ might be on a roll, but Carolina has picked up momentum too and will likely carry it through the series. the West has two cinderellas: Sharks and Ducks. Aren't you getting a little bit ahead of yourself? Ducks haven't won yet. And, really, Colorado and Edmonton are the bigger surprises there.

posted by mkn at 12:34 PM on May 03

mkn, I was referring to them sneaking into the playoffs, or rather climbing into the playoffs. And I wholeheartedly agree about the Oil and the Avs. I completely misread the Avs.

posted by garfield at 12:37 PM on May 03

Elias has been playing on both lines, but mostly with Langenbrunner and Brylin. If times get tough and the Devils really need a goal, Lou will put the E-G-G line back together. And yes, the Rangers were not at thier best. But I'm not buying into the 'Rangers were that bad', I prefer to think that the Devils were that good.

posted by njsk8r20 at 12:50 PM on May 03

Actually, I think it was both. Hence the four game sweep. The Rangers phoned it in after Jagr's injury - or at least enough of them did to make the rest of them look like it. Strange things happen in the second round though. A key injury makes a world of difference. But as far as coaching and goaltending goes, edge to NJ.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 01:44 PM on May 03

I'll go with the Devils in 5... The Rangers were a mess going in and during the first round, but the Devils are still on a tear.. Sabres in 6... But I agree this should be one of the more exciting series in these playoffs. How many other cities have a jail and courthouse INSIDE it's stadiums? None of the current Philadelphia stadiums or arenas have a jail in them. Shoulda researched that too. The Vet did for football, but it's been gone for a couple years. Curious how many people who bring that up have actually been to a game in Philly.

posted by SummersEve at 03:21 PM on May 03

I have been to Philly on several occasions and have even walked around Northeast Philly at night and have felt totally safe. I think it has a bad rap. My family is from Michigan origanally and I am terified of Detroit.

posted by HATER 187 at 03:41 PM on May 03

See, now i'm all sounding like a homer and i don't want to come off that way. That wasn't meant to sound as confrontational as it did. After all, i asked the question... Back to hockey...

posted by SummersEve at 03:41 PM on May 03

Wow I didn't know Ottawa was right across the Peace Bridge? Last time I checked it was called Fort Erie not Hamilton but I digress. I think the East is between NJ and BUF. The West, between SJ and the winner of tonights game.

posted by buffalo will never win at 05:44 PM on May 03

SummersEve, that was kind of a half-assed apology, but still very admirable considering it comes from someone who's named after a douche.

posted by Samsonov14 at 06:39 PM on May 03

It was a sincere, half-assed apology.

posted by SummersEve at 06:37 AM on May 04

Felt like you were using you whole ass.

posted by yerfatma at 08:04 AM on May 04

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