Apr 5, 2012; Uniondale, NY, USA; New York Islanders celebrate scoring during the first period against the Winnipeg Jets at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-US PRESSWIRE

Buffalo Sabres Morning Report 7/25/2012

The Buffalo Sabres first trip out of the confines of the First Niagara Center takes them to the worst place to play hockey in the NHL – Nassau Coliseum for the first of four contests against the New York Islanders.

Last season the Buffalo Sabres needed a shootout in one game to split the season series with the New York Islanders.  This season the Sabres hope to be a much tougher team to play against – and they will be hoping to take advantage of a team that spends most of the season watching the mock drafts throughout the year – with 25 first round draft picks since 1993 only eight of them have been outside of the top ten – half of those eight were drafts selections in which the Islanders had multiple first round picks – and their first selections were in the top ten.  Four of the New York Islanders draft picks that were selected higher than 10th overall since 1993 have played in a Buffalo Sabres Sweater.  Can you name them? {Answer below}

Despite the fact that the New York Islanders take up golf earlier than most NHL franchises every year – they manage to give the Buffalo Sabres fits in the regular season.  The last time the Sabres/Islanders series didn’t end in splitsville was 2006-2007 when the Sabres won three of four.

For the Buffalo Sabres this year, they should have the toughness to slow down the talent that does exist on the Islanders roster, and they should be able to take at least three of the games from the Islanders.

After facing the Islanders for the first time on October 20th on Long Island – the Buffalo Sabres return to Island again before Thanksgiving on Nov. 24th.  The Islanders make their appearances in Buffalo this year on January 17th and February 23rd.

The four New York Islanders drafted higher than the 10th overall selection since 1993 that have played in a Buffalo Sabres sweater are: JP Dumont (1996 – 3rd overall), Tim Connolly (1999-5th overall), Taylor Pyatt (1999-8th overall) and Raffi Torres (2000-5th overall) [yes Raffi Torres was selected fifth overall].

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