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A blog by a long time New York Islanders fan who stays true to the fellas wearing orange, white and blue…but thinks the Islanders organization has some shaping up to do.

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Sunday, December 30, 2007

Guest Blogger Jiggs Scores His Second Post

Isles 5 : Devils 2

Our friend Jiggs from Islander Mania graciously accepted a second invitation to help us out with coverage of the Isles. A BIG THANKS to you Jiggs for providing our readers with yet another excellent summary of the game.

Coming off a drubbing at the hands of the Ottawa Senators the Isles must have been relieved to be coming home to play the New Jersey Devils. After all the Isles haven't lost to the Devils yet this year (3-0-0)and own the best home record in the Eastern Conference (13-7-1).The numbers would seem to favor the Isles but this was a different Devils team than the one the Isles played earlier in the season as Martin Brodeur has regained his Vezina form leading the Devils to the top of the Atlantic division.

The Isles got off to a quick start in the first as Chris Campoli jumped into the play while shorthanded and converted a rocket of a slapshot over Brodeur's left shoulder to give the Isles a 1-0 lead 5 minutes in.

What followed about 5 minutes later set the tone for the rest of the game. Mike Mottau was getting set to field an Isles aerial dump-in at the Devils blue line when Mike Comrie gave his best Ronnie Lott impression and decked while Mottau was in mid-air. A chippy play that Mottau felt needed to be answered so the next shift he and Comrie went at it with Comrie getting some shots in rapid fire style and with Mottau answering with a heavy shot of his own. I understand that Comrie wanted to answer the challenge but Nolan can't be too happy that his top center is off the ice for 5 minutes. Then again Mike Comrie plays best when he's on the edge- so maybe it was a good thing for Mike and the Islanders. Isles gave the Devs three powerplay opportunities but their PK team was perfect even scoring a shorthanded goal leading to the 1-0 lead after one period.

The second period was even more chippier than the first with the captain Bill Guerin and Andy Sutton getting into tussles. It really shows the team toughness the Isles have in that they don't really need a "fighter" to take up a roster spot. The fighting ignited the crowd when the former Islander Aaron Asham took a penalty midway through the 2nd. Marc-Andre Bergeron, a healthy scratch often recently, was re-inserted on the right point of the Isles' powerplay and got the monkey of his back as his shot deflected in off a Devil's stick and into the net to give the Isles a 2-0 lead and all seemed right in the world. After that goal the Devils woke up and slowly started taking the play to the Islanders using their speed to cause chaos on the Isles zone. With under a minute left, Gionta made a nice tip pass on criss-cross play in the Islander zone to Parise who roofed a backhander past Dubliewicz's glove to cut the Isles lead in half at 2-1.

Isles went into the 3rd with a tentative 2-1 lead with the Devils coming on. Madden converted a rebound off of a point shot and "poof" it was a tie game. This was where the Isles showed me something. They could've folded but they didn’t. They just kept on coming in the third. Andy Sutton blasted a cannon past a screened Brodeur to put the Isles ahead for good at 3-2. Bergenheim converted another Sutton bomb from the point for his 2nd of the year and the Isles were on their way. Comrie scored the empty-netter for the 5-2 clincher.

This game was about redemption. Bergeron, Dubliewicz, Sutton, Bergenheim, Comrie, Guerin, Sillinger all needed to snap out of their funks and it seemed they picked tonight's game to do it. A packed house at the Coliseum were glad they did.

1 comment:

Tom Liodice said...

Great recap! and a great blog as well! Have a happy new year!

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