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by Kevin Sylvester / Buffalo Sabres
Miroslav Satan (Getty Images)

The end of a season is hard to deal with all the way around.  Fans, players, and management all take it hard and should.  It still stings, especially watching the Bruins take the first three games from Philly, but that will dissipate, as spring grows deeper. 

And if the Bruins aren’t careful, they will be joining the Sabres soon.  With that said, here are some thoughts on the end of the season and the playoffs now.

•   Colleague Erin Pollina had an interesting blog on how playoff experience makes a difference in early exits.  It was a theory and she had good numbers to back it up.  To further her point, when you look at the leading scorers in this year’s post season, the top 30 all have been to the playoffs before, and most are the top players on their respective teams.  The big exception is Miroslav Satan with five goals and five assists.

If he only did that during his time in Buffalo. 

His best goal total with the Sabres was the 97-98 playoffs with five goals and four assists, with the four of the goals coming on the power play.  But he was also a minus-9, with only one game-winning goal.  This year with the Bruins, four of his goals have come at even strength, three have been game winners, and he’s a plus-5.  I guessed he picked up a thing or two from Sidney Crosby last year with the Penguins.

And what a post season Michael Cammalleri is having for the Montreal Canadiens.  He certainly learned from his previous playoff experience, which was a mere six games last year with the Calgary Flames.  He had one goal and two assist last year.  This year, Cammalleri is the leading goal scorer in the playoffs with 11 (including two big ones last night).  To think, the Flames allegedly chose Ollie Jokinen over Cammalleri. 

•   A fan asked me on Facebook who I was rooting for now that the Sabres are out.  The answer is no one.  I root for the Sabres (also my employer) and that’s it.  I am rooting for good hockey and an entertaining match up in the finals.  Pittsburgh vs. Chicago anyone?

•   I think Darcy Regier made an interesting point when asked about not making moves at the trade deadline to “go for it”.  He pointed out that he traded for Raffi Torres, another team (NJ) acquired a superstar (Ilya Kovalchuk), and another made several trades (Washington), and all were knocked out in the first round.  The relevance is that there’s no real blueprint on the right way to do things at the trade deadline that will equal success. 

•   I hope the Boston Bruins sent the Toronto Maple Leafs a fruit basket or gift card this spring as a thank you.  The Bruins acquired Tuuka Rask from Toronto a few years ago for Andrew Raycroft, and will have the 2nd overall pick in this June’s draft thanks to the Phil Kessel trade.  That pick is said to be either Taylor Hall or Tyler Sequin, each expected to be a can't miss player. 

•   Finally, this off season promises to be an interesting one with the Sabres having seven unrestricted free agents, the promise that some young players displayed in the post season, and Portland players ready to challenge.  No predictions yet, except that there is - and will be - plenty to talk about. 
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