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Sabres-Leafs: Season finale is already here, but what a series it's been

By John Vogl

TORONTO -- It's the middle of January. Hockey hasn't even really heated up yet.

But after tonight, the Sabres' best rivalry is already done for the season.

The Sabres and Leafs are getting ready for their fifth and final meeting of the year. It seems ludicrous that an intradivision rivalry between neighbors is over near the midpoint of the season, but that's the case for Buffalo and Toronto.

"The fact that we're finishing up our series this early is a different feeling," Sabres defenseman Tyler Myers said this evening in Air Canada Centre.

The season series went quickly, but it sure was memorable:

*The teams engaged in a stick-swinging, goalie-punching brawl during the preseason. It led to a fine for then-Buffalo coach Ron Rolston, a broken jaw for Corey Tropp and put John Scott on the NHL's watch list.

*The first regular-season game was also Ted Nolan's debut in his second tenure as the Sabres' coach.

*The Sabres showed their first signs of resiliency and showed Nolan how much work he had to do the following night during a loss in Toronto. Scott drew attention for calling the Leafs' captain "Princess Phaneuf."

*The Leafs fans who invaded Buffalo for the Sabres' 3-2 win in late December littered the ice with full and empty beer cans.

*The Leafs won the penultimate meeting, but Scott scored his first goal in 165 games.


Toronto Maple Leafs
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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 |