(Props to Justin Nozuka and his song "After Tonight")
First round matchup: Boston Bruins
A little trivia for y'all tonight to start it off; the Buffalo Sabres is the only nation that holds more Americans than any other nation. Yup, 10 Americans make up the team, and only 9 Canadians. So for y'all nationalistic Canadians, I don't think the Sabes are your team.
Now with that out of the way, what do the Sabres have to offer?
Ryan Miller. Easy as that. I know I've said before that one man doesn't make the team, but this is a case where one man can carry the team. We've seen what the eldest Miller brother could do during the 2010 Olympics, and over 69 games he's played, he's given himself the 2nd best GAA (2.22) and save percentage (.929%).
Back to his skill set, though; not only does he have the confidence a goalie needs to make it far in the playoffs, but he also has the actual skill to stop, block, save, and play the puck.
And then there's the defence, the most delictable piece of the D-puzzle being Tyler Myers. A serious Calder Trophy candidate, Myers has shown that he can tango with the big boys. Towering at the blue line at 6'8" (I kid you not) his presence is enough to make anyone shiver. And that big shot of his just enhances that!
Buffalo will have to depend on their PK skills to keep them afloat in the playoff mix for a long time. Ranked 2nd during the regular season (86.6%), finding a hole in their PK will be a mighty task to take on. And again, with Ryan Miller to shut it down, there isn't much worry for the Sabres until about the conference finals.
What Buffalo can't afford to do is fall behind. They aren't exactly the best of teams of coming back after trailing for 20 minutes, and it'll be all the more harder once the playoffs start. The Sabres need to act like a man possessed to crack down the Bruins and walk on into the 2nd round.
The rookie answer: