The New York Islanders visit the Buffalo Sabres Saturday night as the NHL resumes games after its three day Christmas break. The Islanders will look to improve on its 23-11-0 record, good for second in the Metropolitan Division.
The former Buffalo Sabre, New York Islander, Montreal Canadien and current Minnesota Wild winger, is reportedly in some hot water with the U.S. Federal Government. According to an NBC affiliate in Rochester, Vanek was summoned to the Federal Court House in Western New York because of his “involvement” in money laundering and illegal gambling activity charges stemming from The Marina Restaurant and Bar in Rochester, NY.
Recently several news outlets reported that Islanders’ general manager Garth Snow would retain the team’s first round pick in the upcoming June draft, currently is slotted fifth overall (also known as the “New York Islander Honorary Slot”). In case you hibernated from November until March (or have done your best to suppress the disappointment of another Islander season), the Islanders are required to send Buffalo a first round pick either this year or next as a result of its Thomas Vanek acquisition.
After a week in western Canada and 3 days off, the Islanders returned home on Friday night to begin a 4 game home stand welcoming the San Jose Sharks to Nassau Coliseum. They defeated the Sharks in December in San Jose but couldn’t complete the season series sweep on home ice.
The New York Islanders square off with the Buffalo Sabres in a battle of last place teams Saturday night at the Nassau Coliseum as the Islanders try to rebound from their latest home ice defeat, 4 to 3 to the San Jose Sharks. The Islanders own the worst record on home ice this year, a far cry from the days of “Fort Neverlose.” (Photo credit: paul.hadsall/flickr)
Standing in their way are the Buffalo Sabres whose 46 points (19-39-8 record) have it comfortably “ahead” of the 29th place Edmonton Oilers in the race for worst record overall in the NHL and coveted top position in June’s draft lottery.
The Blackhawks are set to go against the now depleted Buffalo Sabre. Since the trade deadline the Sabres have seen key components to their team gone in a rebuilding effort. The Sabres have no hopes of making the playoffs this year and have culled their lineup to reconstruct for the future.
Gone now are Matt Moulson, Steve Ott and of course star netminder Ryan Miller. While this may seem like a gimme game for the Blackhawks this is also a trap game as well if the Hawks look past the team along Lake Erie. The Hawks still have to gather in as many points as they can with only 18 games left in the regular season.