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Monday morning look around the NHL

Happy Monday, and happy 13th birthday to my son, Ty. And now, your look around the NHL, starting right here in the B-lo:

*The Buffalo Sabres' goaltending evolution could have been awkward.

Ryan Miller could merely watch one of his best friends get shoved aside. Patrick Lalime, that aforementioned best friend, could only sit idly by as he got pushed out of the crease -- and likely out of the NHL.

It could have been awkward, but winning and past experiences helped make Jhonas Enroth's arrival a smooth and successful one.

*My childhood street hockey buddy and fellow concert-goer Kris Baker of assesses the Sabres' future with an extensive look at the prospect ranks.

*Fewer than 24 hours after their elimination from the Calder Cup playoffs, members of the Portland Pirates were packing up Saturday and heading for home.

*The Detroit Red Wings are coming home with a chance to take a step toward history. Suddenly, that seems well within reach.

Tomas Holmstrom broke a tie with 6:08 remaining, and the Red Wings scored three third-period goals to avoid elimination with a 4-3 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Sunday night.

"There's a lot of character on this team. There's not any quit," said Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard, who made 39 saves. "Our season was on the line there in the third period, and we found a way."

Danny Cleary and Jonathan Ericsson also scored in the final period to send the series back to Detroit for Game Six on Tuesday night. After winning the first three games, San Jose is clinging to a 3-2 lead.

*The Nashville Predators are reminding the Vancouver Canucks that it's never over till it's really over.

Once again.

The Canucks thought they learned that lesson after nearly blowing a 3-0 series lead and needing overtime in Game Seven to knock off the Chicago Blackhawks in the first round. They led Nashville 3-1 only to see the Predators win their first elimination game in six tries Saturday night to extend this Western Conference semifinal to Game Six tonight in Nashville.

*The Boston Bruins picked the right time to play their best hockey. The offense is clicking, the defense is stingy and the coaching philosophy of sticking with the system is working. The Bruins are in the Eastern Conference finals for the first time since 1992.

*In a season where winning the Stanley Cup was the only goal, the Philadelphia Flyers fell flat at the end.

* has a brief look at the Eastern Conference finals featuring the Bruins and Tampa Bay Lightning.

*The Czech Republic overcame the arrival of Alex Ovechkin to beat Russia 3-2 Sunday and maintain a perfect record at the IIHF World Hockey Championship. Jakub Voracek, Jaromir Jagr and Tomas Plekanec scored a goal each for the Czech Republic as Ovechkin couldn't help Russia avenge a 2-1 loss to the Czechs in the final of last year's worlds.

Also Sunday, Mikael Backlund scored 7:47 into the third period and added an empty-net goal to give Sweden a hard-fought 2-0 victory over Switzerland to secure a place in the quarters. The result means that the United States also advanced.

*The City of Glendale will vote Tuesday whether to ante up another $25 million to ensure the Phoenix Coyotes remain in town for at least another year.

The City of Glendale released its council agenda Friday and multiple sources confirmed to the city is looking at replicating an arrangement that cost $25 million this season to help cover operating costs while the NHL finds an owner for the franchise for next season.

The proposal is expected to pass -- one source told Friday it would be a "no-brainer" for the city -- and could take some of the pressure off of the municipality to sell more than $100 million in bonds that are crucial to closing a deal with Chicago businessman Matthew Hulsizer.

---John Vogl

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John Vogl

John Vogl

John Vogl has been covering the Sabres since 2002-03, an era that has included playoff runs, last-place finishes and three ownership changes. The award-winning writer is the Buffalo chapter chairman for the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.

@BuffNewsVogl |

About Sabres Edge

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has been covering the Buffalo Sabres since 2007. He is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association and can vouch that exposed flesh freezes instantly when walking in downtown Winnipeg in January.

@BNHarrington |

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz |