Saturday, April 14, 2007
GAME 2: Islanders 3, Sabres 2
Maybe one problem is too many articles in the press like this one in today's Buffalo News. Heck, even two of us predicted a Sabres sweep in this past week's Puck Stop column. Perhaps we are just too full of ourselves and a game like this was a cold harsh dose of much needed reality.
But the Sabres blew one big time tonight, and have no one to blame but themselves. "We didn't play at all for the first 18 minutes" said Lindy Ruff after the game, looking clearly disappointed at his team's performance tonight.
The Sabres had no legs early on and spotted the Isles a 2-0 lead. Amazingly though, they got stronger as the game went on, and even managed to tie the game early in the third. Rick DiPietro looked very sharp in net however.
The winning goal happened on a power play, after Max Afinogenov got called for hooking Miro Satan on what looked like a very suspect call. After the game Max took full responsibility. "I made a bad choice, and it cost our team. Yes I did commit the penalty" said Max. Lindy would also hear nothing of any sour grapes about the call. "The rule is you don't put your stick in that spot in the mid section. I don't care if Miro grabbed it or not.... Hopefully in the course of a long series these types of calls will even themselves out."
Couple side takes -
A crowd estimated at 1500 watched the game outside on a huge video board assembled as part of the "Party in the Square" event.
After the game we headed out for a couple pops with Matthew and Brian from Metro. Matthew pointed out that, contrary to earlier reports, he did not see Briere participating in the optional skate this morning, and the few guys who did skate seemed to be almost too relaxed and jovial, not the intensity we would hope to see at this point.
Game 3 and 4 happen on the Island Monday and Wednesday... We return for game 5 on Friday, and hopefully our guys will get it all together by then. They'd better.