10/15/13 Pregame: Islanders look to extend lowly Sabres skid to 8

The Islanders are welcomed home after coming up empty on their miniature road trip. After losing two highly competitive games to Chicago and Nashville, they look to rebound in front of their loyal fans. As inspiring as the Islanders play has been in the beginning of the year, the Sabres have been on the opposite side of respectable.

The winless Sabres sit at 0-6-1 and that could be a good or bad thing for the Isles. The optimistic fan can hope and expect the Islanders to extend that skid to 8 games. However, the pessimistic camp (that most Isles’ fans reside in) have to be wondering if it is a matter of time before the Sabres' offense explode for their first win.

The Isles mantra should be to get up early on the beleaguered squad and not give them any chance to breathe. The way the Islanders have played in front of their home fans over two games has been inspiring and relentless. After coming off a tough loss in the home opener against Columbus, they stomped Phoenix with a relentless onslaught of pucks on net.

At this early part of the season, the Isles are in the thick of the Eastern Conference at 2-2-1. They have collected 5 of the 10 possible points. Although going 0-2-0 in their travels through Chicago and Nashville, they have shown that they can hang with the best.

The Isles played the Blackhawks to the limit and gave them a scare all the way to the final buzzer. If they want to continue to play winning hockey, they have to cut down on the turnovers. The experienced and upper echelon of the Western Conference showed the Isles that even good play is not good enough against the best of the league. Aside from points, the Isles took some valuable experience from their travel through the Windy City and the Music City.

Although Buffalo’s record suggests that they are the league’s worst team, they are not. Their tough schedule lends itself to a huge reason as to why they sit in the basement of the NHL. Falling to Detroit, Ottawa, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, Columbus, Chicago and Minnesota is nothing to be ashamed of.

They are skating into the Coliseum off of probably their most stinging loss of the season. Former Sabre, Jason Pominville netted the goal that eventually ended up being the game winner for the Wild. This is a desperate Buffalo team that needs to be shut down early to ignite that doubt within.

But tonight has to feel like a must win for the Sabres because an 8 game skid to start the season may be too much to overcome.

The Sabres have played 7 games, scored 7 goals but collected 0 wins. The Isles look to make that skid hit 8.

-Steve Giangaspro

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