Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Sabres Destroy Islanders on the Island

The Sabres showed that they aren't going to get off to the slow start they had last season with an impressive 7-1 victory over the New York Islanders. The Islanders were without starting goaltender Rick DiPietro and backup Joey MacDonald basically had no clue what hit him.

Thomas Vanek was the star of the Sabres with two special teams goals, a powerplay and a shorthanded goal. Patrick Lalime looked good in net stopping 23 of 24 shots. Basically, the whole team looked prepared to play and with 4 games in 6 nights, especially against teams like the Rangers and Vancouver, this team needs to get off to a good start to avoid what happened last season.

Probably the most convincing part of this game was the line brawl that occured about midway through the second period. Rivet, Mair, and Kaleta absolutely handled Witt, Bergenheim, and Thompson. Unfortunately for Rivet, he receieved two game misconducts which should put him on the fast track to an automatic one-game suspension, three in a season gets that. But the toughness that this team is showing is impressive and a definite change that was needed from last year.

While Lalime looked good in net, I am not convinced yet that he is going to be a reliable backup. I say this because Thibault looked really good to start his season off with the Sabres, beating the Leafs 5-4 and the Canadians 3-0, but eventually fell off the wagon towards the end of the season. Therefore, Lalime has to look good going into a few more games to make me sold.

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