Score: Sabres 2 | Islanders 5
Shots: NYI 30 | BUF 26
Sabres Goals: Jeff Skinner (1), Colin Miller (3)
Islanders Goals: Anders Lee (12), Brock Nelson (8, 9), Casey Cizikas (4), Cal Clutterbuck (3)
Minus-1 | What Else Is New?
To say that the New York Islanders have the Buffalo Sabres’ number would be an understatement. In six games against their East Division rival so far, Buffalo has been outscored 24-9, losing every matchup.
The Islanders simply continue to dominate the Sabres in every phase of the game. It might have something to do with the fact that the Sabres run a store brand version of the system the Islanders have perfected. Even when they tried to open things up, they simply didn’t have enough offensive push to make a dent against what could be the best defensive system in the NHL.
Minus-2 | The Power-Play Slump Continues
In the last five games, the Sabres have gone 0-for-9 with the man-advantage. Prior to their two-game tilt against the Philadelphia Flyers at the end of February, Buffalo’s power-play unit ranked first in the NHL.
As of right now, the man advantage unit has dropped down to fourth. That is a problem for a team that was barely keeping games close when their special teams were firing on all cylinders. With no five-on-five production to speak of, the Sabres will continue to lose games until the power-play starts producing again.
Plus-1 | End of an Era?
After Kevyn Adams neglected to give Ralph Krueger anything resembling a vote of confidence during his press conference this week, this weekend’s debacle could spell the end for the second-year head coach.
Krueger’s list of mistakes is long and the results speak for themselves. The Sabres have all the symptoms of a team that has quit on the coaching staff. Whether Krueger’s endless message of non-sequiturs ran stale, or his players grew incensed at his continuous inconsistency with his verbalized roster policies is unclear.
Either way, Buffalo has made it very obvious that they will not make any sort of turnaround with Krueger calling the shots.
The Sabres will closeout their current road trip on Tuesday as they head to Philadelphia to take on the Flyers. Puck drop is at 7:00PM.