“I never said it was really bad,” the Ottawa Senators netminder tried to clarify Friday. “I said there were more things to do on a day off in Manhattan.”
Emery wondered what he might do to spend his down time Friday.
“I might go to Niagara Falls, check out the casino,” he said.
The local radio hosts suggested the city of Buffalo should send Emery a tourist package to show him how many things there were to do. If they do, Emery won’t open it.
“I’d be nervous opening anything that people send me from here,” Emery said with a laugh.
DAY OFF: Forwards Danius Zubrus and Tim Connolly and defenceman Dmitri Kalinin didn’t practise Friday for the Buffalo Sabres.
“Just some bumps and bruises, we gave them the day off,” said head coach Lindy Ruff. “Some are upper body bruises, some are lower body bruises.”
Senators winger Patrick Eaves, out since Game 3 of the first round with a head injury, did practise Friday but isn’t expected back yet.
SPECIAL TEAMS: The Buffalo Sabres went 0-for-5 on the power play in Game 1 while the Ottawa Senators were 2-for-6. Game over.
“The story from yesterday was specialty teams – and we won that battle,” said Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson.
Agreed Sabres winger Jason Pominville: “Special teams really hurt us.”
The Senators pressured the Sabres with an aggressive penalty kill and even scored short-handed on Mike Fisher’s breakaway goal.
“There are times when you can be aggressive,” said Sens head coach Bryan Murray. “It’s all about reading and understanding, and that’s what working together does. I think when you see the situation where you can jump and be aggressive, you do that. If you can’t, because of good skill and the other part or a great pass, then you have to lay off and hope that the goaltenders or the defenders can get a stick in the way and not allow a goal.”
MILLER TIME: One Sabre that didn’t disappoint in Game 1 was goalie Ryan Miller, who was outstanding in stopping 29 of 33 shots.
“Ryan made some good saves,” said Sens centre Jason Spezza. ‘With a goalie like Miller, you got to keep getting pucks at him. He’s one of the elite guys in the league. You have to get screens and tips. He’s going to make the big save occasionally.”
COMRIE HAPPY: Former Edmonton Oilers centre Mike Comrie had never reached the second round of the NHL playoffs in his career, let alone the conference final.
“It’s fun,” said the Senators forward. “To be able to experience this is such a thrill for me. Just to be part of this group has been outstanding. We know we have a long road ahead still but we’re excited to be in the last four teams playing right now.”
TURNOVERS: One of the more glaring statistics from Game 1 was Buffalo’s 19 giveaways to Ottawa’s eight.
“We gave them most of their opportunities off our turnovers,” said Sabres centre Daniel Briere. “That was an area where our power play wasn’t good at all . . . We made it a little easier on them, tried to go through guys and gave them turnovers where they didn’t have to work for it.”
Ottawa’s forecheck forced Buffalo into bad decisions.
“It’s the pressure on the puck,” said Senators centre Jason Spezza. “Because we pressured the puck so much, I think it caused maybe them to turn the puck over more than they would like.”