Good morning Buffalo Sabres fans, we inch closer to the end of the playoffs, but the Montreal Canadiens won’t give up without a fight, and I wouldn’t expect the Chicago Blackhawks to roll over either. Plenty of good hockey left to be played, and then we will get to the Stanley Cup Finals!
The Buffalo Sabres deepen their goaltender prospect pool by signing third round draft pick Linus Ullmark to a three year deal. [WGR550].
Another goalie prospect that will for now, be buried for the future. Of course, the way the Buffalo Sabres have been going through goalies recently, he could be in blue and gold before we know it. He does have one more year on his deal with. He is currently playing in the Swedish League, where he has one more year on his contract – a contract which he has told the Buffalo Sabres he will fulfill. Goalie is always one of my favorite positions to watch a guy develop, so it will be nice to see where Ullmark fits into the plans for the future.
As one Facebook commenter pointed out, this is a little over the top analytical wise, but, the trend is there for the Buffalo Sabres to start shying away from the smaller guys. That trend started before the current General Manager came around though. Darcy Regier bought out Nathan Gerbe last season, and this season the team brought in the likes of Zenon Kenopka via waiver wire, and Nicolas Deslauriers via trade.
The Buffalo Sabres have no doubt in many peoples minds that the team needs to get bigger, faster, and stronger. I don’t think the signing of Deslauriers fits in with that model, rather he is the type of player the Sabres need right now. He is a guy that will fill a role and eat some ice time when needed as the roster is reshaped and reformed into something competitive.
Stanley Cup Conference Finals
Sure they are just one more piece of hardware that teams pick up on the way to the Stanley Cup, but you can’t win the Cup without first capturing the Prince of Wales Trophy or the Clarence Campbell Bowl.
New York Rangers (3) vs Montreal Canadiens (2)
Defense wins championships. You have to have an all world goaltender to grab the Stanley Cup. Well the Montreal Canadiens want to ensure that they get their number one guy back in a game situation this year, so an offensive outburst in game 5 lets the Canadiens live another day; but they still need more to try and knock of the New York Rangers.
Montreal has not been back to the Finals since winning the Cup in 1992-1993. New York hasn’t been back to the Finals since they won the Cup in 1993-1994.
Los Angeles Kings (3) vs Chicago Blackhawks (1)
Game six of the West happens tonight, and the Chicago Blackhawks are in a tough but familiar spot. Win out is the slogan in Chicago as the ‘Hawks look to become the first back to back Stanley Cup Champions since the Detroit Red Wings of the late 1990s.