Tonight's game could be the final game as a Sabre for some of these players. This is the last game for the Sabres before the trade deadline. They head into Uniondale coming off a shootout loss to the Hurricanes which saw them play really well for most of the game. The key word in this case is most. The Sabres outplayed the Hurricanes for the first two periods and then came back and laid an egg in the third to get the Canes back into the game.
Patrick Lalime won his way back into the manical hearts of Sabres fans with his performance against the Hurricanes. He performed really well, only allowing one goal on 32 shots. His shootout performance wasn't all that stellar, but it doesn't help when you get no support from the rest of the team. One would assume that with points at a premium that Lalime would play tonight, but considering that we are playing the Islanders it might be worth giving Jhonas Enroth a spin at things to see how much trouble the Sabres are going to be in before the deadline. If Enroth blows up then the Sabres can persue a capable backup rental before the deadline.
The Sabres offense is what is hurting this team. The Sabres have been either hot or cold in the last 10 games. They have been shutout twice in that stretch and have scored four or more three times. Help is on the way for the Sabres in that Vanek has said that he is planning his return for the Montreal game on Wednesday.
The Islanders are the front runners in the Tavares Sweepstakes. They traded away Mike Comrie and Chris Campoli to Ottawa for Dean McAmmond and are looking to make more moves as the deadline approaches. Bill Guerin has stated that he would waive his no-trade clause for the Islanders and they also have a few other players they could move if they wanted. They also will be without Brendan Witt who was suspended by the league for five games.
The last time these two teams met in Uniondale, it was a fairly heated game with 103 total penalty minutes. Lalime led the Sabres in the Columbus Day rout only allowing 2 goals on 24 shots. For your viewing pleasure, the highlights of that game: