Buffalo make the final trip to Long Island this season. The Isles have won both meetings this season and have won 6 of the last 7 meetings overall. For some reason the Isles just have the Sabres number. Things will be a little different this time around. Tonight will be the first time the Islanders face the red hot Ryan Miller. Also this is will be the first time the Islanders meet a healthy (minus Vanek) Sabres squad.
Buffalo comes in winning 2 of 3 and getting 5 of 6 points in their 3 games out of the break. Miller and the defense have been lock down, but the offense continues to struggle. Buffalo is on pace for its lowest goals for total in franchise history. A team that early in the season was supposed to be deep with scoring. Stafford has 1 goal in 13 games, Roy 1 in 15, Boyes 1 in 26, Leino 1 in 12, and Gerbe 1 in 19. Talk about a scoring drought. Derek Roy is currently taking residence in the Lindy Ruff dog house along with Luke Adam. Roy's days as a Sabre are all but numbered in my opinion. Ruff and Roy can no longer exist on the same team.
Buffalo has played better as of late but have gained no ground in the standings. A sure sign that this task to get in a top 8 spot is near impossible. However the Sabres are not bad enough to end up in a lottery pick situation. So I rather them try to go up instead of try to go down.
Paul Gaustad has come back with something to prove since the all star break. I have had a change of heart on Goose's status on this team. I was all for shipping him to Detroit or SJ. I think Detroit would have the most interest in Gaustad, especially seeing that Wings scout Kirk Maltby has been following the Sabres around the last week. I am more in favor now of Goose staying on this team as a leader and player with grit. For the right price of course.
The Isles come into this game hot as well. Including a 2-1 OT win in Ottawa last night. John Tavares and Matt Moulson are two of the most notable hottest players.
Prediction- Sabres jump on Isles early after they played last night 4-1 Buffalo.