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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.

Islanders 2014-15 Season Mantra

Try not. Do...or do not.


Saturday, February 23, 2008

Isles Fall Short Of Lucky Seven

Isles 2 : Devils 4

The Islanders were that close to neutralizing the losing streak completely.

They were that close to claiming a playoff spot, and holding it with the impending Rangers-Sabres game, provided Buffalo would beat their rivals.

They were close to getting back to where they were before.

But New Jersey said no.

The Devils, #3 seeded in the Eastern Conference playoff race, skated all over the Islanders at their Rock, the Prudential Center, among chants of "DP Sucks!" and "Marty's Better!" which no doubt alluded to the familiar goaltending matchup between Rick DiPietro and Martin Brodeur. In this match, Brodeur did prove to be better, if only because he was helped out by a steady defense and a dynamic offense as usual, led by young star Zach Parise and recently rumored trade target Brian Gionta. Each scored a goal for the Devils, along with Patrik Elias and John Madden, who both scored in the first period to take an early 2-1 lead after Josef Vasicek's redirection of an Andy Hilbert shot past Brodeur.

Sean Bergenheim proved to be one of the best Islanders on the ice, powering past Devils and using his body and hands to keep the Isles playing. Vasicek would also have another assist on the game as he set up Hunter for Ruslan Fedotenko's 14th of the season, early in the second period, to tie it up at 2. But that wouldn't be enough, as the Devils, hungry to settle the score with the Isles after the last feisty collision between the two teams on December 29 (a 5-2 Isles win), pounced on every given opportunity and barred the door in the third period.

The Isles' winning streak is snapped at six games, and Rick DiPietro, who tried his best to keep his team in the game, allowed four goals for the first time since February 14th (a 5-4 Isles win against the Maple Leafs in Toronto). During the winning streak, he had allowed an average of 2 goals, and posted one shutout.

One thing for the Islanders to fix is their power play, which has lapsed back into taking the low-percentage play route, rather than make quality plays to pressure the opposing PK. On the 5-on-3 opportunity they had in the second period, with David Clarkson and Colin White both in the box for interference, this was painfully obvious. Bergenheim had a great opportunity in front on Brodeur, who ended up with the puck in between his pads. Upon review, it was ruled no goal... and that became pretty much the only chance for the Isles throughout the rest of the game.

Better news to most... Trent Hunter, the fourth leading scorer on the Islanders, was signed to a five-year, $10 million contract. Some fans, such as Christine, believe that this is a bit of a heavy contract for a player such as Hunter, because he doesn't score as often as some other players on the team. However, I think it is fitting, seeing as he does more than score goals- he has a quiet leadership, shot blocking ability, and a good physical presence, and can work along the boards exceptionally well. He is also a good fit for the team, and can give us good play for the five years in his contract, provided he stays healthy, which is another plus (he doesn't get injured often).

Bruno Gervais also returned to the lineup from his oblique injury and had a decent game. Good quote from him on his favorite non-sports movies; among others, he said, "Rocky 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 12, 38, and 76 were all good too." Gotta love a young guy with a sense of humor.

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