Niagara Gazette


April 22, 2006

TIM SCHMITT: Campbell’s hit shows Sabres are serious


BUFFALO — He’s silly. To a point where he shoots pucks at Derek Roy in practice, his curly red hair looking more Cabbage Patch Kid than NHL hockey player.

He’s goofy.

His buddies call him Soupy, and say things you’d say about puppies you’ve been nurturing back to health.

“Awww, he’ll grow up to make someone proud someday.”


On Saturday night, somewhere, Jim Schoenfeld was proud. Jerry Korab was proud.

Sabres fans were proud.

Brian Campbell stopped being the silly, goofy defenseman the Sabres were hoping would someday become serious.

If the Sabres lose this first-round series to Philadelphia, it won’t be because Campbell didn’t give them an incredible jolt of energy right when they needed it.

Campbell’s crushing blow in the first overtime knocked R.J. Umberger into another stratosphere. And it gave a Sabres team looking to be taken seriously the first punch in what could be an old-time hockey series.

Buffalo never found its legs after a scorching start, wallowing after the Flyers cut their two-goal lead to none on Simon Gagne’s late tally.

They seemed almost amazed that 57 shots weren’t enough to beat Robert Esche through four periods. Tim Connolly, Daniel Briere and Ales Kotalik looked winded, lacking the jump they’d shown in recent games.

But when Campbell lined up Umberger, he showed the Sabres can play anybody’s game, even if that means rough-and-tumble, nasty hockey — something Buffalo’s hardly known for.

And when Briere tucked in a crossing pass, the Sabres effectively beat the Flyers at their own game, trading big hits and a sometimes plodding approach.

Buffalo isn’t out of the woods by any means.

Philly will come back bigger and tougher, looking to line up Campbell whenever possible. And the fact that Esche had allowed just two goals on the Sabres’ first 57 shots will probably give him a dose of confidence Lindy Ruff was hoping not to administer.

But the Sabres can know they didn’t slip by the Flyers on Saturday.

They came through the front door — with Brian Campbell leading the way.

Group sports editor Tim Schmitt covers the Buffalo Sabres for Greater Niagara Newspapers. Contact him at (716) 282-2311, Ext. 2266.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • NIA Glynn, Don mug GLYNN: Moreland panel comes back to haunt Cuomo Let's get this straight. That was Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo at the microphone in the Syracuse radio station, Dec. 4, 2013, explaining the need for reactivating the anti-corruption panel called the Moreland Commission. "The commission clearly has the legal authority to look at anything they want to look at, including the governor, the attorney-general, the comptroller, etc.," the governor told the listening audience.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Bradberry, Bill mug BRADBERRY: Immigration issue belongs to everyone I must admit, I was pleasantly surprised when I opened up my digital edition of the Washington Post yesterday and found something that I think captures part of the dilemma America faces right this minute; it's a simple question: Who are we, or to put it another way, what do we really stand for?

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Confer, Bob mug new CONFER: It's time the U.S. stopped giving aid to Israel When you see some of the atrocities that Israel has committed in Gaza, including last week's bombing of a United Nations school that was being used as a civilian emergency shelter, you should really wonder why we count them as an ally and why we devote so much of our financial and political resources to the scoundrels.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Higgs, Norma mug HIGGS: A cupcake gets the Niagara Beautification Commission spotlight Not a cupcake per se, but a cute shop in LaSalle operated by a "sweet" lady who is a real dynamo when it comes to running a business.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Glynn, Don mug [Duplicate] GLYNN: A key factor in luring the convention A natural wonder in the nation's oldest state park isn't the lone factor for selecting Niagara Falls as a convention site.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • SINGER: Regional poetry and sad realities If that isn't (or wasn't) poetry, I don't know what is! I'm referring to the self-satisfied, sluggish trot of ice chunks emanating from Lake Erie in early May 2014 -- sauntering, it felt, along the lovely Niagara.

    July 27, 2014

  • NIA Smith, Doug and Polly LETTERS FROM THE ISLAND: Quest for an appointment comes up short We're rolling up our sleeves for Quest. The Big Mac of blood tests, the Tops of tourniquets, the Sears of screenings, opens on our Island at Monday's crack of dawn.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Davis, Vincent mug VINCENT DAVIS: Pledge your allegiance to the Slurpee, America's treat By now you must be aware that it is, in fact, summer. And since summer is a season not characterized by any obvious weather events (sometimes it's hot for days in a row, sometimes you get a bunch of rainy days and chilly nights) but instead activities, I'd like to bring attention to an underrated staple of summer sun enjoyment: Consuming the brain freeze-inducing snack classic, the Slurpee.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Hamilton, Ken mug HAMILTON: Popeye's '7-Minute' guide to educating southerners -- and me! Writer Mark Twain said that when he 14, his father was so ignorant that he could hardly stand to have the old man around. But upon turning 21, Twain said that he was astonished by how much his father had learned in just seven years.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA DeLuca, Michele mug DELUCA: Wegmans call warns of bad fruit I was humming to myself the other day, getting ready for work on a lovely summer morning, when I decided to check my messages on the house phone. I hit the play button and heard a message from Wegmans warning me about some fruit that I had bought at their store. As quick as that, a message with the scary potential to change my life or the life of someone I love.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page