Sabres Even the Score

7th Woman's picture


So, supposedly IceGirl photos make people feel better? Does it?
Okay, We knew it wouldn't last forever. Nothing does. So what if the Buffalo Sabres got a little help from those guys in stripes with whistles, they were indeed the better team tonight. The score ended at 3 - 0 with Ryan Miller's 14th career shut-out, but there is so many more numbers that are factors in this game.

Most importantly was the change in face off win percentage. I'm not exactly sure why it was so lopsided this evening, but when you go from an over 50% ratio to less than 20%, something is seriously wrong. It wasn't even as if there were different Islander players taking the face-offs, they were just getting beat -- 83% of the time!

The other number that is most disconcerting considering their past play is in the penalty column. The Islanders were assessed seven penalties as opposed to the Sabre's four. The power play is where the Buffalo goals came from. (Seriously, I'm not counting the third goal because I swear there is no way they could have determined that it was indisputably over the line. But that's a moot point.)

Marty Biron loves Buffalo, and Buffalo loves Marty Biron. It was really his show tonight in the Islanders end of the ice. He got a little feisty when Patrick Kaleta slammed Frans Nielsen into him inside the paint. That resulted in an interference call for Kaleta and a roughing call for Biron. They threw a roughing penalty at Kaleta too just for good measure. But the Islanders couldn't score on Miller with their power play.

Later in the game, after Marty had made some excellent saves, he decided to do his best impersonation of Rick DiPietro. I do believe that there was an audible gasp out of Islanders country. We all know how that move of skating out to the blue line to poke check the puck worked out for Mr. DiPietro, so seeing the same move just gave me concussion flashbacks that scared me. Luckily, Marty didn't get a skate to the head like Rick did, but he also almost didn't get back to the net in time.

It wasn't smart, he shouldn't do that again. Besides, my heart can't take it.

Jack Hillen was noticed for an excellent hip check and his his unusual skating style. For a change, Mr. Moulson wasn't noticed at all.

My boy Sean Bergenheim had his chances once again, and once again, came up empty. Is there a voo doo doll out there somewhere with this kid's picture on it? Because snake bitten isn't even the word any more. Between wide shots, blocked shots, shots over the glass and even a shot that bounced off his butt and still didn't go in the net, it's as if there is something other-worldly going on here with him.

Ryan Miller is 6'2", but he plays like he's 8' tall. His 175lb frame seems to make him stretch so wide in net that he is impervious. I dislike it when he plays against the Isles, but I will love every minute of it when he plays in Vancouver.

No one, especially the men in that locker room, should have their confidence rattled by this game. It happens. It's hockey. There will be good games, bad games and down right great games. What's important is there is a game Friday at the Rock and they need to be ready to play it.

Maybe it's time to give Robbie Schremp another kick-at-the-can as they like to say on the radio. I'm sure he's hungry enough to make his presence known on the ice. I think it only fair. How about it Scotty? Have you started drawing up line combos for Friday yet? Because I can only bet you don't sleep on that plane back home.