I never thought I’d live to see the day where I could work in a SpongeBob Squarepants story into an article but today is that day. There was one show where SpongeBob declared it “Opposite Day” so he did everything opposite of what he normally would do. Today must be Opposite Day as far as the Sabres and Flyers are concerned. I came to work this morning hearing the Philadelphia Flyers complaining about the Sabres getting away with murder in this series like hits to the head, hits from behind, and late hits. They are hoping the referees do something about it but if they don’t, the Flyers will just turn the other cheek because they don’t want to get caught up in the “Sabres BS.”
Lindy Ruff responded by telling the Flyers to stop whining and just play the game. Is this a dream? Or maybe I woke up in some bizarre world? I have to tell you, I like it. Normally the shoe is on the other foot and the Sabres teams are the ones complaining about the rough treatment from the Flyers but the Sabres are apparently getting into the Flyers heads this time around. Excuse the term but this is pretty heady stuff! It kind of reminds me of the Ted Nolan/Hardest Working Team in Hockey days when the Sabres changed their reputation as one of the softer teams in the league. You still have to be careful if you are Buffalo though, you can’t go too crazy and give the Flyers 10 power plays as was the case in game 2. It puts too much stress on your team defense and keeps key forwards off the ice for long stretches. If there is a procession to the penalty box, at least the Sabres know the PK unit has been outstanding of late, killing off 67 of the last 73 power plays against them, an amazing 91% success rate.
I doubt this has any bearing on the outcome of tonight’s game and the series so this is probably more for my amusement than anything else. In franchise history, the Sabres have been tied at 2 in a best of 7 series on 14 occasions. They are 4-10 all time which isn’t very good but they have won game 5 in 3 of the last 4 instances including 2007 against the New York Rangers and in 2006 versus the Flyers. Ryan Miller recorded his 1st playoff shutout in that ’06 triumph at Philly. When losing game 5, Buffalo has lost the series 9 of 10 times with the lone exception coming over Ottawa in 1997. When there is a Sabres victory in the 5th game, they’ve won the series 3 of 4 times, the exception being the 2001 conference semifinals with Pittsburgh. Like I said, it probably has no bearing on this series but I’m a history buff.