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Rambler's Top100

24 2007 . 
Max leaves something to be desired // SabresInsider.com, NY

The only thing less impressive than Maxim Afinogenovs postseason was his nonchalance about getting knocked out in the conference finals. The Sabres winger basically brushed off losing to Ottawa in five games and suggested he was satisfied with the Presidents Trophy. 

I think we had a good run, Afinogenov said. Yeah, we lost, but I think we fight until the end. The whole team was exciting. It was a good season anyway. 

Yawn. Is this a guy the Sabres want on their team while theyre trying to keep co-captains Chris Drury and Daniel Briere? Afinogenov is a seductive talent, an electrifying player who puts people in the seats. He also gets them out of their seats when hes not drawing teammates offside and giving away the puck. And while his 134 points in 133 games in two regular seasons are impressive, his eight goals and 17 points in 33 postseason games over the same span are not. He has 10 goals and 23 points in 

49 career playoff games. Remember, his overtime winner against the Rangers came after he was a healthy scratch. 

The Sabres, 15-7-3 without Max this season, dont need him to sell tickets. Hes scheduled to pocket $3.5 million in each of the next two seasons. Sens fans thought the worst when they traded Martin Havlat and watched Zdeno Chara split for free agency. Ottawa kept the core intact and, obviously, grew stronger without them. 

Just wondering if St. Louis would be interested in a swap for Lee Stempniak, straight up. Stempniak made $450,000 last season and had 27 goals, surpassing Afinogenovs career high. The West Seneca native led Team USA in scoring during the world championships with six goals and 10 points in seven games while battling food poisoning. 

Who knows what sent Afinogenov into a funk against the Rangers? Lets just hope Max wasnt suffering from something sophomoric, such as problems with his girlfriend.

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"¨ " @ c 1997