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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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Try not. Do...or do not.


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Effort, Check. Entertaining, Check. Win?...Win?...

Rangers 4 : Islanders 2

The worst part of a loss like this is that, despite the huge effort by the Isles over two and a half periods, and despite the penalty-riddled but respectable game they played, their fans still didn't find it in them to stay the course, as the score climbed late in a game between two very different-looking teams. The Rangers, now 9-2-1, skated off the ice to the sounds of the cheers of their own fans, still in the enemy's building. The Islanders, at 2-6-0, skated away to the opposing crowd's jeering.

The Rangers extended the Isles' losing streak to 4, scoring two third-period goals to make the final score 4-2. In the first minute, Chris Drury was credited with a fluky goal from behind the net in which Bill Guerin accidentally flicked the puck toward Joey MacDonald (in net again for the injured-again- Rick DiPietro) and MacDonald kicked it in. However, he rebounded nicely, stopping every shot afterward, and Kyle Okposo's hard work was finally rewarded in the last minute of the first period, as he scored his first goal of the season to tie things up at 1.

By the second, the pace was established, and the game took on a spirit of its own. Not much physical play ensued, although Aaron Voros and Nate Thompson did get into a lively scrum midway through, and both goaltenders- MacDonald (39 saves) and Henrik Lundqvist (30 saves)-and teams overall played very well, heightening the entertainment level as the game progressed. The Isles generated good chances, not only by Okposo, who had what was easily his best game to date last night, but by Frans Nielsen and recently returned defenseman Chris Campoli, who had nice defensive plays and offensive presence. But nothing came out of it, and soon enough, Ryan Callahan was able to capitalize by getting in between two Isles in front and slipping the puck through to make it 2-1.

The third period saw the Isles lose a step, then two, then tire out completely, as the Rangers rallied and put them away for good, first on a Gomez goal (his third) at 6:52, then Drury's second of the year and the game at 12:34. Mark Streit would cut their lead to 2 with the Isles' third shorthanded goal of the season (although otherwise, penalties were again a big part of the problem), but the Isles had nothing left. Thus, the Rangers are riding high, while the Isles look to start over on Thursday at Philadelphia.

Notes: Okposo had 7 shots on goal... DiPietro is listed as day-to-day with an undisclosed lower body injury, unrelated to previous injuries, while D Brendan Witt will miss 3-4 weeks with a lower body injury as well... Andy Sutton is set to make his season debut on Thursday at Philadelphia, while Jack Hillen will be sent to Bridgeport... D Freddy Meyer also sustained an abdominal injury and is listed as day-to-day... Brett Skinner was called up from Bridgeport.

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