Sabres/Flyers Eastern Conference ECQF, Game 3: The Bastion Of Invincibility Starts Tonight
“My idea was to build Liverpool into a bastion of invincibility. Napoleon had that idea and he conquered the bloody world! And that’s what I wanted; for Liverpool to be untouchable. My idea was to build Liverpool up and up and up until eventually everyone would have to submit and give in.”
The inimitable Bill Shankly said that about Liverpool Football Club while he managed them. It was about the play on the pitch, but also applied to the famous stadium at Anfield Road. It’s the kind of feeling that Terry Pegula has brought back to Buffalo, and half of building a bastion of invincibility is the cheering diehard fanbase. Too often in the recent past, the mood inside HSBC Arena was far too docile. Starting tonight, with all of the re-engerized vim and vigor that Pegula and the Sabres have engendered, it’s time for those quiet, timid fans to be loud, raucous, and absolutely inhospitable to the reviled Flyers and their intruding fans.
Jordan Leopold is slated to return, with Andrej Sekera and Shaone Morrisonn both sitting out with injuries. Lindy Ruff has said he’s moving Rob Niedermayer up to center Tyler Ennis and Drew Stafford and sending Brad Boyes down to play right wing with Mike Grier and Cody McCormick.
All the Sabres need to do to play their game and win is stay out of the penalty box, use their speed to burn the Flyers on transition, and keep their special teams clicking. They started game 2 playing a fast and loose style, and it resulted in getting deep, drawing penalties, and scoring two power play goals. As much as Lindy wants to play a choking defensive style at times, the Sabres may need to put their trust in the man wearing #30 so they can try and beat Philadelphia at their own game.
The Sabres have home ice advantage after splitting the first two games in the Wells Fargo Center. They just have to go out and make it count.