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By SabreSword

vs. Let's review the first round the Sabres just played. Buffalo was hoping to just stay competitive with the Ottawa Senators as they finished the regular season much higher in the standings and had home ice advantage. In game one, Hasek robbed the Senators blind with grand larceny! He literally stole the game. Buffalo won 2-1. In game two, the Sabres came back and tied the game in the third period and won it in double overtime on Miro Satan's goal. Ottawa had dominated the game early, but by the first overtime, Buffalo took it to the Sens. They had several glorious chances to put them away in that one, but Rhodes made some great stops. In Game 3, it was all Sabres. They prevailed in this game from start to finish in one of the best games of the year. And finally last night's game, where they took a 2-0 lead early, but the Senators fought back 3 times to make it a one-goal game.

I hate to admit this, but I feel that Lindy Ruff did a fine job coaching in this round. He matched his lines up to a tee, containing Alexei Yashin and the other top offensive threats. Mike Peca played an outstanding series against Yashin and Buffalo got scoring from a lot of regular season no-shows. On the whole, I give the coaching A- (just because Jean-Luc was scratched), the offensive a B and the defense an A+. Richard Smehlik played his best hockey since last spring and Rhett Warrener and Jay McKee did an excellent job on the blue line. Goaltending doesn't even get a grade, as you cannot judge Dominik Hasek in earthly terms.

As for Round Two, the Sabres have to maintain the same intensity, if not more if they plan to advance to the next round. It will be interesting to see who the Sabres opponent is, whether it's the Devils (who are now tied with Pittsburgh 2-2), Philly or Toronto. Buffalo also could end up playing Boston. Anyway, the Sabres have a week to get Satan and Sanderson healthy again and Hasek can play some golf to relax.