Whenever a team, like the Sabres, have had a playoff spot locked up early, and another team, like the Islanders, has had to battle to the last game to earn a playoff spot, someone always brings up the argument that the lower seeded team has been playing "playoff hockey" for weeks. The idea is that the higher seeded team has grown complacent, and the lower seed team is prepped to take advantage. It's always brought up, but I never find it to be the case.
The Sabres have a powerhouse team. They amounted the most goals in the league and had 7 players finish the season with over 50 points. The Islanders, while having played well enough of late to slide into the last spot in the playoffs, lack a real leader scorer to lead this team in a playoff run.
The New York Islander's starting goaltender Rick DiPietro is still suffering from the effects of a concussion, and will miss at least the beginning of the series. Back up goalie Wade Dubielewicz has only 17 regular season games to his name, and has never played in the playoffs. Buffalo goalie Ryan Miller is young, but picked up alot of experience with last year's playoff run.
I honestly can't see a way the Sabres lose this series. I'll be surprised if they don't sweep. Sabres in 4.