Buffalo Sabres co-captain Chris Drury is the most experienced player when it comes to post-season action on Buffalo's roster. With 80 games and a Stanley Cup to his credit, Drury leads a very young lineup that will be looking to procure as much knowledge as possible from the veteran center.
Drury shed a little light into Buffalo's series with Philadelphia which opens in HSBC Arena at 7:00 PM this Saturday.
A lot of times people talk about keeping the game simple. Is that hard to do when it comes to the playoffs?
Chris Drury: "In some ways, I think it's easier to keep things simpler in the playoffs. During the regular season, players sometimes get caught up in watching numbers and try to do a little too much. In the playoffs, it's easier to keep things simple because you only have one focus."
You were a teammate of Peter Forsberg's in Colorado - what type of player is he on and off the ice?
Chris Drury: "He's definitely one of the most competitive people I've ever played with. There would be games where he would basically dominate and afterwards he would be saying how bad he was. He seems to be never satisfied and just wants to win in the worst way. Those are good types of teammates to have.
Did you pick up some of those characteristics from Forsberg?
Chris Drury: "It's hard not to. I was lucky to play with him for a few years. He comes ready for battle every day and every night, and was a good guy for me to learn from."
What is this team going to have to do in order to be successful against Forsberg?
Chris Drury: "You can't completely shut him down. He's too talented and too great a player for that. You just have to try to contain him as best as you can and make him work both ends of the rink."
"If he's in the offensive zone, he's going to have his way. But if he's got to play in his zone and skate 200 feet every shift, we may be able to wear him down a bit."
Aside from Forsberg, Philadelphia does possess a lot of other offensive weapons.
Chris Drury: "I don't know how many goals (Simon) Gagne ended up with - probably high 40s - but we certainly can't forget about him. (Mike) Knuble is around 30 goals, so we can't overlook him either. Obviously, it's a team game and everyone keys on Forsberg against the Flyers, but that team has a lot of great players up and down their lineup. We have to be ready for everybody."
Is Buffalo's speed going to be the biggest key to winning games?
Chris Drury: "Yes, I think that will be important. But along those lines, we just need to keep moving our feet. When we get stale and just watch the play develop is when we get into trouble. If we're active and our feet are moving, we can jump into holes and find some success."
What other things does Philadelphia do well?
Chris Drury: "They are well coached and play a really tight system. We saw that system in our last meeting here. At times, we are going to have to be patient even though speed and skating is our game. There are going to be times when that opening isn't there. We're going to have to just chip it in, and live for another day and another chance. They've got some big defensemen with some long sticks, and if we're trying to dangle through them or make plays that aren't there, it could come back to bite us."