The Buffalo Sabres couldn't register a single powerplay goal in the first round while the other 15 teams did. It was their ultimate downfall, as they never gained any confidence on the man-advantage largely because they weren't doing simple things like supporting each other or fore-checking for the puck with more than one person. This exit stings, but it's the beauty of the postseason. Any club can win a series.
Yesterday, I issued a message to each member of the Boston Bruins and didn't hide my true feelings about it. It's Buffalo's turn today, and I've got my postcards sealed and prepared. Whomever played at least one game in these playoffs will be spoken of, so please, no questions on why Chris Butler wasn't mentioned.
I'll keep the insults short and the praise long.
Matt Ellis: Scored a nice goal in game two and played every shift like it was your last. Disappointed that your experience was cut short, but you walked off the ice on your own terms after being hit hard which shows what a warrior you are.
Tyler Ennis: Made space for your linemates, controlled the puck as if you had it on a string and sped around the ice endlessly. It was a joy watching you inject youth and excitement into the line-up. I assume we'll be seeing a lot more of you next year.
Paul Gaustad: A face-off winning rate under 50 per cent? Is that you Goose? Despite not scoring a postseason goal in 31 matches, you're a person with character and heart.
Nathan Gerbe: I wish it didn't take Lindy Ruff so long to call for your services. Two points in as many contests with tons of energy and effort. We appreciate every second of your determination.
Mike Grier: Please re-sign with us in the off-season. Honestly, you did everything in your power for the Sabres and it's a shame a lot of the others couldn't follow in your footsteps.
Patrick Kaleta: Looking forward to the day you reach the 20-goal plateau, proving my theory right and that you are in fact an Alex Burrows caliber player. Didn't celebrate your goal in game six. Is that maturity I'm sensing or is shooting pucks into the net becoming more regular for you?
Tim Kennedy: Was really impressed with the soft hands you showed off on your two assists and the maturity present in your first playoff tournament. Give me a smile.
Toni Lydman: Withstood the most amount of minutes on the ice and didn't get ultra sloppy.
Adam Mair: Pocketed one goal and an assist, which is more than I can say for a few of our star forwards.
Cody McCormick: Where have you been hiding? Played the body, picked up two assists and got in the Bruins' faces.
Steve Montador: Get those skates sharpened. That third-period wipe out mirrored the image of you falling down in Carolina and giving them an overtime winner. Seriously though, you're the type of defenseman coaches need in the heat of the battle and your performances were excellent.
Tyler Myers: Rest up for the next few months because you earned it. Understandably, you looked slightly fatigued over the course of this series. Not your fault, you can only carry Henrik Tallinder on your back for so long.
Jason Pominville: At times, you hesitated to pull the trigger on your fantastic shot. You know better than that.
Craig Rivet: You fought, scored a game-winner and tried to inspire your group. I can't ask much more from a 35-year-old grizzly veteran.
Derek Roy: Really let me down. You're postseason numbers have worsened from year to year and that scares me.
Andrej Sekera: The offensive awareness has to grow if your to stay on this blue line because your defensive side is mediocre.
Drew Stafford: You call yourself a power forward?
Henrik Tallinder: Myers dragged your dead weight along for an entire campaign. You couldn't return the favor for six games?
Thomas Vanek: The fact that you can lead the team in scoring in an off-year indicates your qualifications as a sharpshooter. Proud of your decision to return for game six and this series might have ended differently if you weren't hacked by a nobody.
Ryan Miller: Spectacular. You deserve the Vezina and Hart Memorial Trophy.
Coaching Staff: Way to fix that powerplay problem. It's as if you told them to keep doing what they were doing and the bounces would eventually come. For that to happen, they have to possess the puck first.