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Pominville's Playoff Blog

by Staff Writer / Buffalo Sabres

Throughout the 2007 playoffs, Buffalo Sabres sniper Jason Pominville will be logging on to and give his insight into the Sabres run at Lord Stanley's cup. The sharp-shooting 24-year-old set career highs during the regular season in games played (82), goals (34), assists (34), points (68) and plus/minus rating (plus-25).
5.17.07, 3:39 p.m. :::: LOOKING TO BUILD MOMENTUM

It took a little while to get that first win, but we finally got it. Hopefully we can create some momentum off of it just by playing the way we have, especially in Game Four. I definitely think that we can build off the last game, and we're looking toward the challenge ahead of us.

Our special teams were good on Wednesday. Our penalty kill was great for the second game in a row and the power play finally got us on the board.

Special teams are so important at this time of the year. Our power play has struggled at times, so it was fun to get one. Hopefully, Max's goal will get us going in that department.

I thought we moved the puck a lot better on the man advantage. We want to make sure that we try to take advantage of those power play chances. If we can't score, then we hope that we can at least create momentum for the rest of our team and get them going.

We definitely got the start we wanted in Game Four, especially with getting a goal nine seconds in and then getting a couple more to take the 3-0 lead. After that it kind of quieted down their crowd a bit.

They managed to get some momentum by getting two goals near the end of the second period. That got their crowd back into it and it was really loud in the arena after that.

Even with them getting back into the game, I don't think we panicked. We stayed focused, showed poise, and ended up winning the game with a one-goal lead. Winning the close games is something that we're happy about and we know we can do.

That's crazy hearing that there were 10,000 fans at HSBC Arena cheering us on for Game Four. That's really fun to hear, because it's great to see that the city is still behind us.

Last night, we got back pretty late to the airport, but there was a ton of people there cheering for us. A lot of them had signs too. We really appreciate the support of everyone a lot.

I can't wait for Game Five on Saturday. It should be an exciting game. I mean it's Game Five, on a Saturday afternoon, and it's televised on NBC. It's all set up to be an exciting afternoon of hockey. One thing that we have said is that we're going to battle all the way. No matter what happens, we're going to give the effort, and we're expecting to do that this Saturday.
5.2.07, 4:10 p.m. :::: LOOKING TO GAME FIVE

The weekend definitely didn't go exactly how we wanted, but we knew that we were in for a battle while playing the Rangers at Madison Square Garden. They're a very good team. You have to give them credit because they played really well in their own barn.

To get back on track, we just have to make sure that we put the past weekend behind us, refocus, and make sure that we are sharper in our house.

It's been a fun place to play all year and I'm sure our fans will be behind us on Friday.

Going into Game 5, there are some key areas that we really need to focus on, to try and retake the momentum from the Rangers.

I think if we get off to get a good start, and maybe get the guys involved physically, we should be able to get back on track. It'll be really good for us if everybody is finishing their checks, because that gets the fans into the game early on. We also have to try and get that first goal, because that is really huge in the playoffs.

If we do take anything from the last two games, it would be just trying to copy how we played in the third period of Game Four. We know how good we can be if we play like that.

I think at times that the Rangers had trouble handling us in that last period. That's what we have to get back to. If we can do that, we definitely like our chances.
4.30.07, 3:00 p.m. :::: THE NEW YORK MARATHON

I'm still tired from yesterday's game, but I'm not too bad. The important thing last night, and today, is to take care of yourself. I just make sure I get a lot of rest, eat well and keep hydrated.

We are all really left on our own, nutrition wise, in a game like that. We know our own bodies and what we need.

For myself, I just made sure that I kept hydrated. I drank some Pedialyte, some power gel and some water during the intermissions. Some other guys may grab a nutrition bar or have some fruit. Each player is different, but our staff makes sure that we have what we may need or want in our dressing room.

We have battled all year and have had to bounce back from a tough loss in the past.

In the playoffs, that is what it's all about...the ability to bounce back and stay on the level.

Anything and everything can happen in the post-season. We know we can play better. The key is to continue to generate chances and play simple. It's important to pay attention to all the details. We just have to use our experience from last year, and this past season, to be prepared for tomorrow.
4.26.07, 2:39 p.m. :::: MOMENTUM ON THE POWER PLAY

Sometimes the power play isn't clicking at all, and it seems like you get a break or you get a goal, and that helps to get the unit going.

I think that in last night's game against the Rangers, we created momentum out of our power play. It's definitely something that we want. If we're not creating anything, then we're not doing our jobs. If we do get those opportunities, it kind of gets the crowd into it and gets everybody on the team going.

I think we did a pretty good job, besides not putting the puck in the net. We moved the puck around pretty well, and had some opportunities. Unfortunately for us, Henrik Lundqvist made some big saves for them.

When you get in the position where you aren't converting on the power play, you start thinking about what you could do better: what you could do to create more time; more space; and better opportunities.

I think that in the second period, we got a big goal on the power play and that got us going. We carried on after that.

Special teams in the playoffs are so important. They can help you win or can cost you a game. That's why, when we do get those power play opportunities, we want to make sure we can capitalize on them.
4.25.07, 9:27 a.m. :::: SHARPENING OUR GAME

I think the one thing that we can take from the first round is that we were reminded that the playoffs are not going to be easy.

Coming in, the Islanders were playing extremely well. They needed to win quite a few games to just get themselves in the playoffs. I think after Game One, they got their starting goalie back so that was a huge boost for them. It was a battle for us to get through that series.

There's definitely some things to learn from, going into Round Two, and we have got to make sure that we are ready for the Rangers. They are a team that has a lot of skill up front. You can just look at their lineup and see guys like Jaromir Jagr, Martin Straka, Michael Nylander, and Brendan Shanahan. They will make you pay if you turn pucks over. We have to make sure that we're a little sharper in every area of the ice.

It seems like we gave the Islanders some opportunities. We obviously want to be better in our defensive zone, especially against the Rangers. It was something that we worked hard on in the four days that we had of practice. Overall, we've been doing good things all year, so we just want to keep doing the things we have been doing well, add in those adjustments, and that should make us an even better team.

The Rangers are a little bit different from when we last faced them. They added Sean Avery towards the deadline, and he seems to bring energy to that team. Their goalie has also been playing really well since Christmas.

They've been on a roll, and they're one of the hottest teams coming into the playoffs. We really have to be sharp for them.
4.19.07, 2:40 p.m. :::: THE CALL

We were definitely pumped about the call. I wasn't sure what was going to happen there. The puck was in Ryan's pads, they end up reviewing it and made the right call. Our line was going out there to protect the lead and we were able to get a loose puck and score. It's definitely something that we're happy about.

It's something that we want to do. We want to put pressure on their defense. It's a lot harder to make a mistake if you're not under pressure. The way to cause mistakes is by going at them hard and forcing them to make the right play. We've created a few bounces that way and we're going to keep doing that. Hopefully, we can get a couple more opportunities.

We have to make sure that we're ready for them in Game Five. We're all aware that their backs are against the wall and that they are going to come out with a great effort. Each game has been tight all series long. We're not expecting anything different.

We just have to make sure we're ready and I'm sure we will be.

4.17.07, 10:39 a.m. :::: ROAD SUCCESS

All season we took a lot of pride in being a good road team and we were successful. Last night, we won our first road playoff game and that was huge. Obviously, we want to win every game we play, home or on the road, but it means a little more when you can get it done in the playoffs.

We try to to take a simple approach to our game on the road and last night was a big step on maintaining our confidence on the road.

It was good to score on the five-on-three advantage that we had.

Having the two-man advantage obviously allows us more room to set up our power-play on the ice. We try to form a basic set-up with a right-handed shot on the goaltenders right side and a lefty on the left side.

With one less defender, we have the opportunity to move the puck around a little easier for the best shot.

The basic goal is to get the puck down low to create the close shot or to get the puck up top for a big point shot. You saw that with Danny Briere's goal last night.

It is a lot harder to find that open shot with just a basic power-play as compared to a five-on-three.

4.13.07, 2:11 p.m. :::: MOMENTUM ON THE POWER PLAY

It was huge to get the power play going in the first game of the series. Special teams are such a big factor in the playoffs. Last year, overall, we did a pretty good job, and to start off this year with two power-play goals, and almost a third, is a really good start.

Randy Robitaille had just come out of the penalty box on Drury's second goal, so that's could have been three power-play goals last night. Our penalty kill was great too, holding New York without a goal, so it's definitely something that we're excited about.

The Islanders will probably have a few adjustments in Game Two. We expect them to come out really strong to start the game. You always want to win one game when you go on the road, so I'm sure they will make a few tweaks.

But for the most part, we're more worried about what we do than what they do.

4.11.07, 2:54 p.m. :::: RESPECT FOR THE ISLANDERS

The Islanders deserve a lot of respect. They're definitely a team that has earned their right to be in the playoffs.

You look at how the games were going on around the league, and they didn't get any help from any other teams. They've had to win every game down the stretch. And for them to make it the way they did, in the shootout on the last day, was pretty amazing.

Their goalie has been tremendous for them. Wade Dubielewicz has been really good between the pipes, while filling in for Rick DiPietro.

New York has a lot of skill throughout their roster. You look at a guy like Miroslav Satan. The Buffalo fans should know how good he can be, because he played here for a while. They also have Alexei Yashin, who at one point in time was one of the best players in the league. He still is one of the best, once he gets going and gets the puck. He can really make things happen out there. We also can't forget about Jason Blake, who has a ton of speed, and can put defenses in vulnerable positions.

They have a lot of guys that can make plays, so we have to make sure that we have an eye on those guys, and try to stick to them as much as we can.

I can't wait for this series to start. The players are obviously excited, but the city sure is excited as well. I think that that's the fun part, that everybody's behind us mentality.

It should really be a great atmosphere at the arena when the puck drops for Game 1.
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