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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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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Break's Over... Someone Let Them Know

Islanders 2 : Senators 5

The rest that came with the All-Star Break seemed to have carried over into the first period at Nassau Coliseum, as the Islanders committed several crucial mistakes and ended up paying dearly against an Ottawa team without Dany Heatley (recovering quickly from a shoulder injury), but with plenty of talent. They went down, 5-2, in front of a meager crowd of 9, 546 at Nassau Coliseum.

The Senators got off to a relatively quick start, scoring first midway through the first period on the power play, on a shot by Andrej Meszaros, who continued to be a threat to the Isles despite being a defenseman. Then, 35 seconds later, Chris Phillips capitalized, to build a 2-0 lead. After that, the Isles seemed to wake up a tiny bit, pressuring more, and in the second, after a Dean McAmmond goal (his seventh), Sean Bergenheim broke through the brick wall that was Martin Gerber (23 svs), scoring with four minutes left. Later, in the third, Bryan Berard broke out of his slump with a power-play goal to make it 3-2, and the Isles had life- that was, until Mike Fisher put the final nail in the coffin with his 19th goal of the season. Jason Spezza would add an empty-net goal, but it wouldn't matter- the Isles remained winless at home for the month of January and the year 2008. Rick DiPietro struggled a bit early on (21 saves), but had some gems, such as a late robbing of Spezza before the Fisher goal.

There were plenty of opportunities for the Isles to equalize- such as the Richard Park breakaway in which he might have wanted to hold onto the puck a bit longer, to pick a better spot- instead, he tried beating Gerber low and ended up shooting it into his pads. Also, plenty of chances- by Blake Comeau (who had a strong game- plenty of drive and good setups), by Berard, by Miro Satan- chances that went wide or just couldn't be finished, instead left for an Ottawa defender to pick up. Overall, the Isles played a decent game, but just couldn't pull even with a team they have actually played well against this season, having won two of their four games against them. Next up is a home game against the Los Angeles Kings, a team near the bottom of the Western Conference, and one that the Isles could make their first home win of 2008- if they just stay focused and don't make mistakes.

Some notes on the Ottawa front, seeing as this was a hot topic last night during the pregame: Ray Emery, struggling goaltender for the Sens, was late to practice and ordered out of the practice rink by John Paddock, the Senators' head coach. Emery's story is that he thought practice was at the Coliseum, but this, plus numerous other incidents- including a scrap with enforcer Brian McGrattan during a different practice- may have the Sens' organization thinking about a trade or a waive.
links- http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/news/sports/story.html?id=42882be3-2f45-442a-a708-778bdbc4ac4f&k=17308

Ottawa Citizen-

Sun Media

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