It took until the last day of the regular season, but the Buffalo Sabres finally learned who their first round opponent would be in the 2010 playoffs, The Boston Bruins.
The Sabres and Bruins have met seven times in the postseason, with the Bruins winning five of those seven playoff series. The last time the Sabres faced the Bruins was the 1999 Eastern Conference semifinals. The Sabres won the series in six games with the stellar goaltending by future hall-of-famer, Dominik Hasek. The Sabres went on to face the Dallas Stars in the Stanley Cup Finals, but Sabres fans know how that ended.
The Sabres other playoff series win against the Bruins came in 1993. The Sabres swept the Bruins in four and Brad May became a local celebrity. Sabres announcer, Rick Jeanneret, has one of the most known and famous calls in NHL history with his “May Day” call. The Sabres went on to be swept by the Montreal Canadians in the second round of the 1993 playoffs.
Buffalo has posted a 2-2-2 record against the Bruins this season and was outscored, 15-11 in the season series. However, the two regulation loses did come when Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller was given the night off. Jhonas Enroth and Patrick Lalime were in net during those two loses.
Ryan Miller posted a 2-0-2 record against the B’s this season, with a 1.71 GAA, and .947 save percentage. Miller will have to be in “Olympic” form if he and the Sabres plan on playing deep into this years postseason.
Sabres rookie defenseman, Tyler Myers, lead the Sabres with five points against the Bruins (2G, 3A). Derek Roy and Paul Gaustad each had four points, but it is going to be vital for guys like Thomas Vanek, Jason Pominville, and Tim Connolly to step up their game this postseason. Luckily for the Sabres, Vanek woke up a bit and scored five goals in the last two games of the regular season.
Bruins goaltender, Tuukka Rask, posted a 4-1-0 record against the Sabres this season with a 1.43 GAA and .954 save percentage. Rask earned the starting job from Tim Thomas and is one of the main reasons the Bruins qualified for this years postseason. Ironically, the other overly tall d-man, Zdeno Chara, lead the Bruins in scoring against the Sabres with seven points (1G, 6A).
This series should be a tight one with low scoring contests and excellent goaltending on both ends. Neither team won this season with more than a two goal lead including two games that went to either OT or a shootout. I believe it will come down to who has the best special teams. The Sabres were one of the best teams on the penalty kill, but struggled, at times, on the power play.
Good luck to both teams!
Filed Under: Buffalo Sabres
About the Author: Sabres Hockey blogger, Passionate fan of all Hockey, Sport Management major, Buffalo Bills fan/season ticket holder, father of my beautiful daughter.