Before I even get started, I just want to make clear that, even as a Sabre's fan, I feel the Isles got the shaft on wednesday night. Not once, either, but twice; of course, the obvious shaft was the "no-goal" call that, from what I saw immediately, should have been a goal. In all honesty, when they went to the phone, I was sure the referee's call was going to be reversed. Yet, when he gave the phone back to the time-keeper and turned to signal "no-goal", I was quite shocked to say the least. However, what was even worse than that, in my eyes, was the fact that Daniel Briere looked to be off-side on the Sabre's 4th goal. THAT is what I would be most upset about if I were an Islander fan. Reason being, if the Sabres don't score that goal, the Isles still have 1:12 to tie it up. With that much time left, one goal is not insurmountable. Two, on the other hand, is a high, steep hill to climb. Bad calls are something that every team has to play through, especially in the playoffs but when, what seems like call after call is going against your team, it makes it that much more difficult. Granted, there's no doubt in my mind, whatsoever, that Vanek's goal in game 3 was legit, but those 2 non-calls on wednesday may have finished the Isles season right then and there.
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Contrary to how I thought the series was going to go, the Isles have put up an admirable fight. Ricky D (who I still believe will never get the Islanders anywhere) came back and stole game two in what was nothing short of a shocker. That, in and of itself, planted the seed in the Isle's heads that they can play with the 'bres. And PLAY they certainly have. But, again, we're talking about the #1 seed playing the #8 seed and it only took 48 hours after losing game 2 for Buffalo to show why they are where they are. They not only won 3-2, but they outshot the Isles 17-2 in the final stanza. Proving that, when they need to play keep away, there may only be one team in the league better at it (Detroit).
The way I look at the controversy from the other night is: sure, the Sabres got the breaks in game 4 but if the Islanders are anywhere near the team that Buffalo is, controversies won't matter much and we'll be heading back to the Island for game 6. But I just don't see that happening.
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