Thomas Vanek

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Pregame for 2/9/13: Islanders look to end skid against Buffalo

As Long Islanders shovel their way out of Nemo's wintery wrath, the Islanders look to dig themselves out of this 3 game losing streak.

After a successful road trip, the Islanders returned home to lose to New Jersey and Pittsburgh and went back to the road for the first against the Rangers.

Other than John Tavares' impressive play, the Islanders looked outworked, unenthusiastic and just overwhelmed by the Rangers.

They have been outscored 11-3 on this recent skid. It is obvious that scoring is not coming to the team as easily as it once was.

It is important for the team not to harp on losses and let them snowball into long stretches of futility that could render this season a wash.

The season is too tightly packed for the Islanders to feel bad for themselves and let the losses mount. In this talented Eastern Conference and more specifically Atlantic Division, it is easy to get buried.

Flyers Fail on PK, Lose to Sabres

Questionable officiating, numerous penalties and bad penalty killing all contributed to the Flyers' 5-2 loss at the hands of the Buffalo Sabres on Sunday.

In the first few minutes, the two teams continued the feeling out process. Both teams tried to assert themselves physically, including several bouts of 4-on-4 hockey.

Flyers Clash with Sabres

The Buffalo Sabres will open their 2013 campaign against the Philadelphia Flyers, who come to town after a 3-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Can the Flyers spoil the Sabres' party like the Penguins did to theirs?

Survive and Advance Sabres 2 Islanders 1

Different head coach, same result.

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.

Montoya Holds Firm In Isles' Road Win

In yet another of a seemingly endless string of low scoring affairs, the Islanders went to Buffalo on Tuesday night and shuffled out of town with a win.

The Islanders, who hadn't won consecutive road affairs since March, were bouyed by the fine (and sometimes downright spectacular) play of Al Montoya.

Montoya, who improved his season's numbers to a 2.07 Goals Against Average and .933 save percentage, has clearly established himself as the best goalie employed on Long Island. For head coach Jack Capuano to even consider starting Rick DiPietro ahead of him at this point is laughable.

It took a power play after a hi-sticking call against Buffalo (you're going to...

Isles Face Sabres: It's Not Miller Time

Preview:  With 5.4 seconds left in the third period of Saturday’s contest against the Devils, Islanders fans rejoiced seeing Frans Neilsen win a defensive zone faceoff with a 1 goal lead.

With 2.1 seconds left, they gasped with horror as the puck somehow squeaked by Al Montoya with Islander-killer Zach Parise on the doorstep.

For about 2 minutes, the Islanders and their fans wondered “how the hell did we let this happen again?  What do we have to do to close a game out around here?”

Then, when all hope was lost, an act of mercy prevailed.  From the heavens on high (also known as the NHL offices in Toronto), the referees decreed the messag...

Game Day: Phoenix Coyotes @ Buffalo Sabres

Still licking their wounds after surrendering yet another game-winning goal within the dying seconds of the third period, this time against the Flyers on Thursday, the Phoenix Coyotes roll into Buffalo this evening to take on the Sabres at 7:00 p.m. EST.

The 2-1 loss was their first of this roadtrip that sees them head over to Washington after the end of this game, eventually returning home to face Anaheim on Wednesday.

Buffalo is counting on Jhonas Enroth to step up in Ryan Miller's absence, as the former is expected to make his fourth start in a row tonight for the 12-7-0 Sabres.  Phoenix last beat the Sabres in early 2008, and have lost five games in a ro...

Hot Start Propels Flyers Past Sabres

For a national broadcast on Versus, the Philadelphia Flyers (7-4-1) traveled to Buffalo to take on the Sabres (6-5-0) Wednesday.

Unbeknownst to the viewers, they’d only have to watch the first 6:23 to find out the outcome.

Why the Luke Schenn Contract is Important.

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 ...

Breaking Down the Sabres' Forwards

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...