Buffalo Takes Down Islanders 5-3

First Period

7:24 PM Buffalo gets on the board first during a delayed penalty. Long shot from the point while DiPietro is screened and it finds the back of the net somehow. This is two games in a row where a man in front prevented DP from seeing the puck.

7:30 PM They really need to capitalize, as Billy Jaffe just mentioned – on those Buffalo turnovers. Islanders power play coming up!

7:36 PM Islanders had the Sabres pinned deep in the zone for a while – good pressure kept on them. So that’s how THAT feels! Still no goals for the Isles though.

7:37 PM Big save by DiPietro
7:40 PM Islanders take a penalty, Gervais for holding
7:42 PM Even up, Penalty on Vaneck
7:43 PM Isles back down, Berard holding 4-on-3

Well – that was different…….

The Isles showed some flash there, with a bunch of great chances but nobody able to capitalize. They really need to stop taking defensive zone penalties, when you are taking those penalties your opponent is beating you to the puck and you are a step or two behind. Granted our defense isn’t the fastest – but with smart positioning they can cut back on holding and hooking.

They need to test Miller a bit more here as the Sabres defense doesn’t look very sharp. Miller is playing on a sore ankle so get shots on him and keep him moving side to side to exploit his “injury”. Otherwise, they are playing a decent game thus far – even with the fluke goal scored. Keep the front of the net clear and you won’t see those long prayer shots make it through.

Second Period

8:04 PM Getting bodies in front while getting shots through!
8:05 PM Another Islanders penalty, delayed because they can’t get possession of the puck.
8:07 PM DiPietro battles with Gaustad in front – makes a nice stick save on a shot from the point.
8:09 PM Another screen in front of DP and Buffalo makes it 2-0
8:10 PM Guerin give away in the Isles zone and its 3-0 Buffalo. Pick it up boys, irresponsible defensive plays lead to a practical insurmountable lead by Buffalo.
8:11 PM Buffalo takes a penalty, power play time.
8:13 PM Buffalo took another 5-on-3 for the Islanders
8:14 PM Satan scores off a one-timer. Still on the power play! Did I say insurmountable?
8:15 PM Strong play by Park leads to a scoring chance, Miller comes up big.
8:16 PM Hunter….pushes it over the net.
8:17 PM Buffalo kills off their penalty and draws one of their own. Looks like a phantom infraction to me, enough is enough already.
8:20 PM Another Islanders penalty. 5-on-3 for the Sabres
8:22 PM Another screen, another PP goal for Buffalo. They are still up a man.

8:28 PM I’d like to pose a question. Why is it we can’t ever do what the opposing team does? We can’t pass, break out, clear the puck, capitalize on turn overs or rebounds or [insert whatever here]?

8:29 PM Interference on Buffalo, Isles have a power play.
8:32 PM Bergeron actually got a one-timer on net.
8:34 PM We are lucky that it’s not 7-1 right now with all the chances they are giving Buffalo.
8:37 PM Strong drive to the net, Bergenheim shoots and Park gets the rebound up backhand to beat Miller. 4-2 Buffalo

Well, where do we start? Penalties, defensive play and poor offensive pressure keep the Islanders behind the Sabres by two goals. It’s a positive that Park scored, but if they plan to make a push in the third period they need to tighten up and make smart plays. It seems like they are literally gift wrapping chances for Buffalo – given it’s the gift giving holiday season and all. Keep the crease clear, the shots from outside and make smart clearing attempts and they have a chance at getting back in the game.

Third Period

I go out for food and I miss Sillingers goal. I was listening on Bloomberg though – sounded like a great play!

9:14 PM Hecht scores somehow on a simple backhand on net, DP has a leaky 5 hole. Buffalo back up by two, errrr 3 as I type this.

9:16 PM Under review, may have been kicked in.
9:19 PM Lengthy review puts the call in favor of the Islanders – NO GOAL!
9:22 PM Islanders draw a penalty, they will be on the power play! Get that goal back!
9:31 PM Islanders getting great pressure late into the period, but Miller is coming up with save after save.
9:34 PM Nolan pulls DiPietro with close to 3 minutes left….gutsy. Bergenheim pulls a Sabre down to save an empty net goal.

If there is ANY bit of a positive take on the game, it’s how we scored more than two goals for the first time in regulation in a lonnnnnnnnngggggggggggg time. We did send guys to the front of the net, but Buffalo had way more in front of Ricky.

Passing still needs a lot of work, there have been way too many drop passes (7th Woman actually emailed me to ask if she was the only one who thought that) and they also still pass the puck to an empty area because nobody is skating to the puck. The forwards are not establishing themselves in front enough and not providing the offense they need to be. Nolan even said in his post game press conference that he ran out of patience with Berard and Tambellini which is why they sat towards the end of the game. He said that your best players need to be your best players – so at least he is holding those responsible accountable. This team really needs help from the outside, before they slip too far back in the standings. The Islanders have only won one game in the last 7 – which is not the mark of a winning team, it’s actually the antithesis of a winning team.

I have been around hockey long enough to know what works and doesn’t, but why can’t players and coaches who make MILLIONS in the sport make adjustments when need be? It always skews my perspective a bit and really tweaks my nerves when the bad play or ineffective styles continue for a large span of games. It’s the type of situation that will likely get me in trouble if I address it in the form of a question with the access that I have with the blog box. That’s part of my fear and the main reason I do not ask many questions when the opportunity presents itself.

Hopefully with all the rumors of trades coming before the Holiday trade freeze, the Islanders will be able to bring in a player or two that can help now when we need it most. Tomorrow the team will play at home and try to snap out of this funk they are in – I will be there no matter how much it snows, maybe the team will actually show up also.

Michael Schuerlein

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.