|When asked how he felt to be facing his old team, Hasek noted , "I'm very excited. I think the Sabres are a very (good) team. They are a much better team than they were four months ago."|
Even though he made 23 saves in Ottawa's 5-2 win over the Sabres in Buffalo during pre-season action on Sept. 28, Dominik Hasek is excited about returning to Buffalo for the first time in regular-season play since joining the Ottawa Senators. In fact, it's only Hasek's second time back in Buffalo since he left there after the 2000-01 season.
Hasek played one game against Buffalo during his brief two-year stay with the Detroit Red Wings and lost by a 5-1 score on March 10, 2002. Hasek was pulled after two periods while trailing 4-1.
When asked how he felt to be facing his old team, Hasek noted after the team's practice today at the Amherst Pepsi Center outside of Buffalo, "I'm very excited. I think the Sabres are a very (good) team. They are a much better team than they were four months ago."
"In looking at the statistics, since November, they have been one of the elite teams in the league," added Hasek. "They are a very good team, they know how to score goals."
As for the fans' reaction to his return, "I'm not too sure what the reception will be like (from fans at the HSBC Arena). I'll find out tomorrow, but it will be great to see a sold-out game."
Head coach Bryan Murray echoed Hasek's thoughts on the young Buffalo squad.
"We're playing a top team in Buffalo. We know we're going to have to score some goals," said Murray.
When asked about the Senators' three wins against the Sabres, Murray was cautious. "It's two months ago (when these games were played). They had a young team starting out and we had a team coming out of camp playing well. They obviously haven't lost many games since then. We'll match up pretty well."
Team captain Daniel Alfredsson knows tomorrow's game will be a tough one.
"They didn't have good goaltending (at the beginning of the season) and now they've been getting great goaltending," said Alfredsson. "They've also been fighting through some injuries and have done a good job. They're one of the top teams in the league."