The Rangers weren’t saying particularly nice things about the Sabres on Tuesday and the Sabres for their part weren’t paying much in the way of attention.
The Battle of New York gets underway on Wednesday night, with game one of the Eastern semi final set for Buffalo at 7 pm (4pm PST). For the Sabres it's a simple matter of changing the suburban competition for the downtown squad, teams from the same metro area but as different as Mets from Yankees.
On paper as they say, it should be a no contest for the Sabres, they defeated the Rangers in all four contests in the regular season, skated to the top of the conference and for the most part were considered the team to beat going into the first round of the playoffs.
All of which seemingly has no effect on a Blueshirt squad that came alive down the playoff stretch and rolled over the Atlanta Thrashers in four straight games.
Tom Renney provided the bulletin board material with his declaration that he’s not sure that the Sabres are the cream of the crop, while Sean Avery guaranteed that the boiling point will be reached quickly when he said that he “hated all of them already”, and he hasn’t even take to the ice yet!
Buffalo which found the Islanders a little harder to handle than perhaps they anticipated, most likely won’t be taking the Rangers possibilities for granted. A team on a hot streak is always a scary thing for a front runner, one win can set them off again and make your task a very miserable lot.
Expect the Sabres to try and get off to a fast start, grab a few quick goals and then shut down the Rangers. Considering some of the heated disputes that Buffalo had with Ottawa during the regular season, any silly stuff from the Rangers will most likely be met in kind.
It’s thought that a steady parade to the penalty box might be more beneficial to the Sabres than the Broadway boys, so the Rangers may find themselves reined in a fair amount of the time so as not to give the Sabres the chance to do some freewheeling.
It’s an anticipated match up for the state, one which is going to provide the newspapers with enough material to keep the newsstands popular places for the next few weeks.
NY Daily News--Rangers won’t be Buffaloed
NY Daily News--Dellapina’s Blueshirt blog
NY Post--Brash Avery to Sabres: I'm gonna to hurt you
NY Post--Sabre Rattlers
NY Sun--Rangers must keep pace with speedy Sabres
Newsday--Rangers: Not so fast, Sabres
Newsday--Sabres: Extra wait OK
New York Times--Renney, Rangers’ Cool Hand, Is Smoothing the Rough Edges
New York Times--Sabres Choose to Let Skates Do Their Talking
Buffalo News--Hockey frenzy ratchets up to next level
Buffalo News--Sabres edge blog
Buffalo News--Ruff won't play match game