Maple Leafs 1 : Islanders 4
Tonight’s loooong drive from NJ to the game proved that at times, taking short cuts does indeed pay off. Although my short cut through Jersey City to get to the Holland Tunnel was no longer a short cut considering everyone else who showed up to take the same route. So in the spirit of ‘where I’m going is more important than where you’re going’, I fine tuned this short cut with cutting through parking lots and driving down streets that I’m not sure were actual streets. After a brief stop in NYC to drop off my zoo crew, the LIE traffic gods were generous, but Coliseum parking gods were not.
Before the game summary I want to send out a sincere thank you to my friend Dom who made sure I received a copy of the 2009 Ice Girls calendar that was given out tonight before I arrived at the game. Thanks for saving me from the disappointment I would have felt had I missed out on this most awesome representation of how women are primarily represented within the Islander organization.
1st period summary in absentia…Kyle Okposo scored (3:47) on an assist from Rick DiPietro…WHAT??? That’s right…Rick DiPietro rejoined the Isles after missing 27 games due to knee surgery. After receiving a pass from DP, Okposo’s wrist shot deflected off of Toronto goalie Vesa Toskala’s blocker. Toronto’s Lee Stempniak then tied up the game (15:44) followed by Tim Jackman and Andre Deveaux both serving 5 minutes for fighting (16:04).
An intense 2nd period, especially the last 5 minutes. What first looked like Josh Bailey’s 1st NHL goal was later credited to Isles Captain Bill Guerin (2:34), with Bailey being credited with the assist. Brendan Witt served 2 minutes for interference (3:26). A few minutes later Andy Hilbert fought the puck and the puck won, taking him out of the game with a reported hairline fracture to his foot (after making his way towards the bench, Hilbert had to be lifted over the bench wall by his teammates). Toronto’s Matt Stajan served 2 minutes for hooking (8:43). Bruno Gervais, also returning to action after missing 13 games due to a leg injury, served 2 minutes for delay of game (puck over the glass) (12:11). Blake Comeau served 2 minutes for hooking (19:14), a call that the rumbling crowd seemed to disagree with.
The 3rd period started with Comeau still in the sin bin but that flew by and the Isles were back at full strength. Bill Guerin scored his 13th goal of the season and drum roll please…his 400th NHL goal (2:34) with a tip in that followed Chris Campoli’s shot on net. When the goal was announced Guerin received a standing ovation from his teammates and the crowd. Guerin became the 79th NHL player, the 8th US born player, and 3rd Islander to score 400 goals *(1). Freddy Meyer added the final goal by scoring from the blue line (slap shot; 8:39), assisted by Blake Comeau. Two penalties were served before the game ended; Trent Hunter, 2 minutes (for DiPietro) for delay of game (10:11) and Toronto’s Jeremy Williams, 2 minutes for hooking (14:14).
The best part of the game was watching the fellas rally together at the net with what seemed like ½ celebratory and ½ welcome back embraces with their much missed goalie. The most fitting closure to this WIN! was the long overdue Chris Campoli and DP high five.
In response to a fan’s homemade sign reading, ‘All I want for Christmas is Mike Comrie’s stick’, Old Saint Comrie supposedly handed his stick over the glass to the fan at the end of the game. I didn’t see this happen but did see the young lady walking up the stairs with a big smile on her face, stick in hand.
Whether the Isles win or lose, their on ice efforts deserve a supportive crowd like tonight (15,173 in attendance) at every game.
LET’S GO ISLANDERS!!
Welcome to the NYIslesScene!
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.
Friday, December 26, 2008
Maple Leafs 1 : Islanders 4