10 reasons why Buffalo will win Game 1
It’s playoff time.
Some Sabres fans may be anxious. Some may be worried. Some may be cocky. It remains to be seen how far the Sabres get in the postseason, but focusing on tonight, on Game 1, there’s reason to think it should turn out well.
Here’s some evidence.
- Under Lindy Ruff, the Sabres are 6-1 in the first playoff game of the postseason, the only loss coming in 2000. Overall, Lindy’s teams are 13-4 in Game 1 of a postseason series. The Sabres are always ready to play when the series starts.
- No Chris Pronger tonight.
- The Philadelphia Flyers are 2-7 in Game 1’s since the lockout. Only wins were last season, in the first round against New Jersey and the conference finals against Montreal.
- Flyers defenseman Chris Pronger will not be in the lineup.
- Since Ruff took over in 1997, this year’s 8-1-1 run in the last ten is the best finish to a season in which they made the playoffs. They also won 13 of their last 20 for the second time in that span, the previous being 2001, when the Sabres won Game 1 and the series over Philadelphia.
- In contrast, the Flyers’ 3-4-3 record in their last ten of the regular season is the worst tally of all 16 playoff teams. ‘Backing in’ is the phrase used here. Last season’s worst ‘last 10’ record was Colorado, at 3-5-2, who lost their opening round series in six games.
- Chris Pronger will be scratched.
- Philadelphia registered exactly zero shutouts this season. That would indicate odds are good that Buffalo will score a goal. Ryan Miller is capable of playing lights out. Will he? Who knows. He’ll be rested, thanks to the injury he sat out with for a couple weeks. But it’s an advantage in goal.
- In last season’s playoffs, Philadelphia was 5-6 in games they gave up a powerplay goal, 9-3 when they didn’t. Buffalo’s powerplay has scored in four of their last six games, and was ranked 9th in the league.
- The Flyers will play a bunch of defenseman and none of them will be named ‘Chris Pronger.’
And did I mention that Chris Pronger won’t be playing?
Puck drops at 7:30pm ET in Philadelphia.