October 7, 2007

Home Opener: Islanders 3, Buffalo 2

The Islanders returned to the ice on Saturday night in front of a packed Nassau Coliseum. This time, it was the Isles home opener and the Sabres hoped to spoil it, much like the Isles had done the previous night up in Buffalo.

Unfortunately for the Sabres, Isles new first line center Mike Comrie continued where he left off on Friday night. Comrie scored 2 goals for the Isles, including the game winner. He had also scored the game winner in the season opener. The rest of the line kept up the pace as well, as Ruslan Fedotenko and Bill Guerin each had 2 assists. Comrie has impressed many so far, scoring 4 goals and 2 assists in just 2 games. The entire first line has combined for 16 points in 2 games.

I was at the game, and I must say the atmosphere was great. The fans were really into it, and very loud. The game felt like it had a playoff atmosphere. The team was not as disciplined as it was Friday, but they were able to work through it, only giving up 1 power play goal to Jaroslav Spacek in the 1st period. Team defense was a lot better in this one, and Bergeron and Sutton played much better together. Witt and Martinek were themselves, and Campoli-Gervais were doing a good job of creating opportunities. Rick DiPietro was solid in net, and seemed to be very alert on most plays. Still some room for improvement in areas, but hopefully Dunham will sit down with him regarding those in the near future.

For the Islanders, it is the first time they won their first 2 games of the season since the start of the magical 2001-2002 season. It will be very interesting to see if they can keep up the momentum heading into Monday afternoon's matinee against the Washington Capitals, where Tom Poti and Viktor Kozlov make their return to the place they called home last season.

In the 3rd period, Jon Sim sprained his knee on a failed hit attempt, and left the game and did not return. His status for Monday is unknown.

Some random things of note: Freddy Meyer was put on waivers by the team before the game. Meyer has until noon on Monday to clear. If he does, he will be sent to Bridgeport. Bryan Berard was in attendance for the game, and according to Steve Mears he is still practicing with the team even though he is not on his try-out anymore. Have to wonder if some things will start to fall. I say it will and this is something to keep our eyes on.

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