Friday, October 5, 2007

And they're off...

Tony Kornheiser’s pick to win Lords Stanley Cup opened the season trying to run n’ gun with the Buffalo Sabres. The Sabres opened the scoring on a Jaroslav Spacek PP tally from the point that I don’t think Dipietro ever saw. Josef Vasicek would net his first as an Islander on a delayed call after a cross ice pass that yielded a wide open net. A trailing Derek Roy would then take a Maxim Afinogenov pass and put the Sabres up again. Ruslan Fedotenko would roof a shot past Ryan Miller after Billy Guerin muffed a stuff attempt and the puck squirted to Ruslan in the slot, Mrs Hilary Duff would get his first point as an Isle on the secondary assist. The Islanders man advantage which has been money so far as they added another goal, when Chris Campoli snuck in behind the Sabres D or lack thereof and one timed a Ruslan Fedotenko past Ryan Miller for a 3-2 lead. The lead would not last as Drew Stafford undressed Marc Andre Bergeron en route to slipping a puck past Ricky D to knot it at 3 at the end of the first.

(A quick memo to Garth Snow…Just start drafting anyone who plays their college hockey for the Fighting Sioux of North Dakota. Zack Parise, Jonathan Toews, Travis Zajac and Drew Stafford all went there and they are all going to be studs in the pros, not to mention T.J. Oshie and Hobey Baker Winner Ryan Duncan will be in the show soon enough. Did I mention the Isles could’ve had Parise back in the 2003 draft?)

After a nifty bit of puck movement Mike Comrie slips his first Islanders goal past a sprawling Ryan Miller on a feed from playmaker Ruslan Fedotenko. Normally a team would try to keep the lead, but the Islanders are sticking to tonight’s no defence rule and Thomas Vanek sneaks behind the D and rips a slapshot past Dipietro from about three feet out, 4 all. This is firewagon hockey at its best folks. I am casting my vote to see this for all remaining Islander games. 5-4 Isles, Comrie scores on a breakaway of his own. The Buffalo Sabres have thrown the concept of defending their goal out the window. Comrie chipped a puck past a pylon, sorry that was Toni Lydman, and then beat Miller top shizzy. Fantasy owners everywhere are scrambling to pick up the trio of Comrie, Fedotenko, and Guerin.

(Side note #2, the Yanks are screwed. Damon just struck out and Mariano is not coming out to pitch the bottom of the 11th. At least this will distract the NY media from covering the Mets collapse.)

The Isles sustain some pressure and as a result Vanek took a penaly trying to stop a Miro Satan scorring op. On the ensuing PP the Isles dodge a bullet after Ricky D stops a 2 on 1 and Trent Hunter adds another man up tally off of a scramble in front. Having Sutton and Gervais on the point for the second power play unit is just a bad idea Ted, lets try to get Berard signed and Meyer waived or Gervais sent down, mmmkkk? The defensive liability that is Andy Sutton takes a penalty late in the third and the Isles successfully kill off the man advantage to secure the 6-4 final.

It was an entertaining game to watch from a fans perspective but you can bet both Nolan and Lindy are going to have the boys on lockdown for the rematch tomorrow night in Uniondale. As the game wore on the Isles improved while the Sabres began to struggle, looks like the leadership and maturity paid dividends tonight which is good to see. Overall it was nice to see the Fedotenko, Guerin, and Comrie trio come together and the powerplay click, but the defense looked suspect at best and there is a lot of work to be done there. At the end of the day though, I’d be more worried if I was a Sabre Fan. Puck drops tomorrow night at 7 p.m. sharp for the rematch.

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