The Buffalo Sabres had no bite tonight. Other than another great effort by Yann Danis for his second shutout in three starts, is the news that Captain Bill Guerin was pulled out of the lineup after warm ups. One doesn't have to be an NHL insider to recognize the significance of this. A deal is obviously pretty much finalized to trade Guerin. From a variety of media sources, it appears that it is an Eastern Conference teams. CBC's Hockey Night in Canada has reported that it will most likely be the Washington Capitols. B.D. Gallof has just reported on http://www.islandersindependent.com/ that it might be an exchange with Washington for a 2nd round draft pick and Jay Beagle a 23 year old center playing with AHL's Harshey Bears. Five Hole will have to get back to you with more on this player if the deal comes true. Beagle has played two games with the Washington Capitols, his NHL debut coming this past February 11th versus the NY Rangers.
Sean Bergenheim had the best game of his Islanders career tonight. This is a simple calculation. He has never had a multi-goal game in the NHL. Tonight he scored the only two goals in the Islanders 2-0 shutout win. Bergy's first goal was at 6:13 of the second period. After being fed a pass by Jack Hillen, Bergy spun around and fired a wrist shot past Lalime. Second assist to Kyle Okposo. At 17:58 of the third period, Fran Nielson passed to Bergy at the side of the net and Bergy stuffed the puck home. In the final 2:02 of the game, especially during Bufalo's emptynet, the Isles tried to set up Bergy for the hat trick, alas it did not occur.
Andrew MacDonald made his NHL debut tonight for the NY Islanders. Andrew was great in his debut. While not credited with a shot, he sent he a few pucks flying towards the net. He was solid playing on the third defensive line with Joe Callahan.
With Brendan Witt serving the first game of a five game suspension, Jack Hillen was promoted to first defensive line duty with Radek Martinek. Hillen as mentioned in the my previous post, is continuing to impress. Beyond his assist on Bergy's first goal, his hockey instincts are plain. If he bulks up a little, he could continue top defensive line duty for years to come.
Monday night's game versus Ryan Smith and the Colorado Avalance looks to be a lightly attended affair due to what is so far forecast as the largest dumping of snow (not Garth) this winter. I plan to be in attendance and may just get some good pictures if the barn is sparsly populated on this night. (I really need to get a new camera.)