The Columbus Blue Jackets have been much better of late since the injured Jeff Carter got back in the lineup and have put together a 4-2-2 stretch. So right now, there is nobody in the NHL worse than the New York Islanders but the Sabres can't take them lightly tonight in First Niagara Center.
Buffalo lost three times to the Isles last season -- and gave up 20 goals in the four meetings. But the Islanders are currently in crisis and owner Charles Wang even gave the vote of confidence to GM Garth Snow and coach Jack Capuano, who has to be a little nervous today given what happened to Bruce Boudreau after his visit here Saturday.
Since starting the season 3-1, the Islanders are just 3-10-3. Scoring has been their trouble this year as they sit in last place in the Eastern Conference standings.
In going 6-11-4, they're last in the league with only 41 goals, a paltry 1.95 per game. The Isles have been shut out six times and scored just one or two goals in nine other games! John Tavares leads the team with eight goals -- but has none in his last 10 games -- while Matt Moulson and Michael Grabner have seven each. That's 22 of the 41 from just three players.
With no offense, the Islanders can't fall behind. They're 1-10-2 when opponents score first, 1-8-1 when trailing after one period and 0-10 when trailing after two.
They are, however, coming off a win. The Islanders eked out a 3-2 victory Saturday in New Jersey after Zach Parise's apparent tying goal in the final two seconds was disallowed by video replay.
"They'll look at using this last game against New Jersey as a stepping zone in the right direction," Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said today. "(Last year) they were scoring goals and obviously now they're having a tough time in that area. They have some tremendous young talent out there. ... I think it's a matter of time before they click."
taggedAll-Star Game | NHL | Sabres