The Leafs, losing eight of its last nine games, appear to have little left in the tank and have been cutting its odds of a post-season berth (down to 30 per cent, according to sportsclubstats.com) with each passing game.
It’s easy to forget, however, that the general consensus in the off-season was that the Leafs would likely miss the playoffs for a seventh-straight season. Despite the panic spreading throughout the fan base, the Leafs are three points removed from the playoffs, with two games in hand over the eight-place Winnipeg Jets. Yes, the stats indicate that the Leafs’ chances are below 50 per cent...
Thomas Vanek and Tyler Myers both scored and Ryan Miller made 30 saves as the Sabres spoiled interim head coach Doug Weight’s coaching debut 2-1 on Tuesday Night.
Weight was appointed interim head coach for the game as head coach Jack Capuano dealt with a flu that has ravaged his lineup in the past three games. Evgeni Nabokov missed his third straight game dealing with the illness.
An all too similar start to the game forced the Islanders into an early 1-0 hole. Tyler Myers opened the scoring just 1:21 into the game. After a initial stop on Derek Roy, Myers found the rebound and snapped it over a prone Kevin Poulin. For the second straight game, the Islanders fell behind within the first 90 seconds.
The New York Islanders went into last night's game looking to pull themselves to a .500 record but failed to do so, squandering a 3-1 first period lead to the Buffalo Sabres and losing by a score of 4-3 in the shootout.
Frans Nielsen would have a three point first period, scoring two goals and adding an assist to help get the Islanders to an early lead despite starting off slow. The Isles were out shot 17-9 in the first period and Al Montoya seemed a little shakey in net. It was only his second start after missing about a month's worth of playing time due to a concussion. His first start was before the All Star break, so it wasn't a surprise that he looked like he needed to shake the rust off. But he would respond well in the second and third periods, continuing to give his team a chance to win the whole night.
“We knew it was going to be a tough weekend,” said Montoya after the game. “[There were] huge points on the line. It’s unfortunate that we couldn’t come out with two points.”
Both the mornings and evenings have begun to get cooler, and with that slight change in tempearture, hockey seems to be getting closer and closer to returning. The back half of August is upon us, and maybe the Toronto Maple Leafs’ most important player for both this and future seasons remains unsigned.
Luke Schenn has developed into a cornerstone member of the Leafs. He is valuable on the ice, having led the league in hits by a defenceman last season with 251. As well as off the ice, being the longest serving Leaf (along with Kulemin and Grabovski) a strong character like Schenn’s is necessary in one of the youngest dressing rooms ...
The Sabres boast a very deep and balanced corps of forwards. The one thing they lack is a true star player. Many of the forwards (Leino, Gerbe, Roy and Vanek in particular) are highly skilled, but not (yet, at least) star players. This is not necessarily a problem, however, as history has shown that if a team has three lines that can score they can be a threat to win it all. The Boston Bruins have a good top line, but don't have a true star forward. The Penguins showed this when their big guns missed the second half of last year as well.
The Sabres made a splash on July 1st by inking former Flyer Ville Leino to a six-year deal. Ma...