TORONTO -- There's no doubt where the attention is going tonight in Air Canada Centre. It's going to Brad May.
The former Sabres forward is playing his 1,000th NHL game, and it's the topic of conversation in the dining room, the dressing rooms, the hallways and on the scoreboard.
"It's been so much fun," May said today. "Tonight's going to be extra special."
It will be for those watching the Sabres' broadcast if May scores. Rick Jeanneret just told me and Bucky Gleason that he'd be more than willing to redo the "May Day" call if May finds the net for Toronto. The original is below.
In Sabres news, Clarke MacArthur is hurt and will be replaced in the lineup by Matt Ellis.
7:30 p.m.: Getting close to the May pregame ceremony, and his family is gathered on the bench.
For those who want to start thinking about things other than hockey, Terrell Owens is in town.
7:32 p.m.: It's Ryan Miller and Curtis Joseph in the nets.
7:48 p.m.: Not sure I've ever seen the Air Canada Centre so empty. There's also a Blue Jays game across the street, so that may have something to do with it. Of course, two teams with almost nothing to play for is a factor, too.
7:51 p.m.: If Joseph loses the game, he falls (rises?) into a tie for the losingest goaltender of all time. CuJo has 351 losses, and Gump Worsley had 352.
7:55 p.m.: Luke's Troops, named for Leafs rookie Luke Schenn, honors a 22-year captain of the Canadian Armed Forces.
For those interested (and judging by the play and atmosphere, not too many people are), it's 0-0 with 12:08 to go.
8:02 p.m.: They just announced that Leafs coach Ron Wilson will be the Team USA coach in the 2010 Olympics. A mix of cheers and boos. He will also be the coach of the U.S. team in the world championships. Look for Paul Gaustad, Jason Pominville and Miller to be asked to play for that team if/when the Sabres are eliminated from the playoffs. Lindy Ruff is expected to be asked to coach Team Canada in the world championships.
8:06 p.m.: This game has all the energy of a 102-year-old man who weighs 410 pounds.
8:07 p.m.: Not that a 410-pound man would live to be 102. I'm just saying.
8:14 p.m.: My favorite July 1 free agent signing, Jeff Finger (who?), steps into a slap shot from just inside the blue line and beats Miller, who never saw the shot through a screen. There's 3:38 left.
8:20 p.m.: Period comes to a merciful close, with Leafs holding a 1-0 lead. Shots are 10-7 in the Sabres' favor.
8:35 p.m.: You just can't ever hear enough Tragically Hip in a hockey arena. I'm sad to say I have yet to get my butt out and get "We are the Same," the new CD that came out Tuesday. But I'm glad to say I have tickets to the opening and closing shows at Artpark and one of the six Massey Hall shows up here in Toronto.
8:37 p.m: Game on. Oh, and now they're playing the Foo Fighters, who I saw during the Dallas trip last season. Good times, good times. Maybe the hockey will match the music at some point.
8:41 p.m.: Jason Pominville scores just nine seconds into a power play to tie the game at 1-1. There's 18:10 left.
8:55 p.m.: Still tied at 1-1 with 9:40 to go. A little more action with a few good saves by the goaltenders.
9:09 p.m.: The game is somehow still tied after the Leafs blow several point-blank scoring chances. The goal spotlight even went on when Jason Blake fed Matt Stajan in the crease for a tap-in. But it didn't go in. Leafs do draw their second power play in a three-minute span.
9:12 p.m.: End of two, it's 1-1. Shots are even at 23-all.
9:29 p.m.: In case anyone forgot, if the Sabres lose they are officially eliminated from playoff contention. Game on.
9:33 p.m.: The Leafs apparently don't want to win. Jamal Mayers has an open net, and he finds Miller, who is on the ice on the opposite side of the crease.
9:45 p.m.: Sabres strike for two quick goals in 26 seconds. Thomas Vanek and Paul Gaustad give Buffalo a 3-1 lead with 11:25 to go.
10:05 p.m.: Sabres stay alive with 3-1 victory. It's off to Carolina.