You will notice the lack of a pregame post today. I was lucky enough to land some last minute tickets to tonights game – and of course I had to oblige the offer. And it was, in the words of Neil Diamond…..so good, so good!
While I cannot say that it was a stellar effort on the part of the Sabres, they treated the Islanders to a taste of the medicine they handed the Sabres Saturday night in Long Island.
Honorable mention for the three stars of the game had to go to Mike Grier, who was outstanding on the penalty kill. His aggressive forecheck pushed the Islanders further and further back – a free agency signing that Darcy should be pleased about.
I was a little dissappointed by the guy managing the game music, it took a scrum with 7.3 seconds left to hear those beautiful words stream from the sound system…Sweet Caroline. I have to say that it sounds so much better when being sung by 18,950 fans, but I will take what I can get.
It wasn’t a normal game for me. I am normally in my seat to watch the pre game warm ups…food and drink in hand to last me the game, and I only make one bathroom break between the second and third periods. I was late to the game, and watched the first six and a half minutes from the aisleway waiting for a whistle. Got stuck in the concourse for the start of the second and third periods.
Ryan Miller didn’t have to be spectacular tonight to add to his shutout stats, as the Islanders rarely tested the Sabres netminder. I was worried that they were going to score late, as the Sabres sat back even further and tried to watch the clock end the game. A lengthy review on Gausted’s goal really put the Islanders out of the fight.
The Islanders through me tonight though, Saturday night they reminded me a lot of the Sabres right out of the lockout, a young team poised to surprise the NHL by making a slow start turn into a quality year. The Islanders that showed up tonight looked like something out of the bad hockey movie Youngblood. Oh come on, for a sappy 80′s love story it was an ok chick flick, but the hockey sucked. I mean, what was Marty thinking when he full nelsoned Patrick Kaleta for his retaliation hit? And Brandon Witt turned in a performance that equals the acting of George Finn as Racki (see him cross check Roy into the crossbar?).
“I don’t think it was anything they did, I think we beat ourselves tonight,” Islanders forward Kyle Okposo said. “We didn’t create a whole lot of opportunities. When we had some, we shot ourselves in the foot.”
The Sabres played a typical Sabres game, down to their opponent, and with just enough energy to win the game. The Islanders looked exactly as what they are, a team that got hot for awhile, and had a slow off night.
Whatever the reason, it was great to be there, the feel the energy, to see and smell the game.
Oh, and to the guy in the row below me who promised me $200 bucks if he won the 50/50 because I got you your tickets so you wouldn’t have to leave your seat (I was sitting between him and the guy selling them). It was duly noted that you were no where to be found when they pulled the winning ticket. Just kidding buddy, I wouldn’t have taken $200 bucks from you, maybe a 100 to drink on after the game.
Good times never seemed so good……