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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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Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Dazed and Confused... And Still Without a Win

Islanders 2: Maple Leafs 4

What the Islanders failed to do last game against Atlanta, the Maple Leafs did in decisive fashion last night on home ice, and with an ex-Isle showing his team exactly what they miss.

Two years removed from his days on the Island, Jason Blake scored a goal and notched two assists against the team he says he loved playing for, helping his current team beat them, 4-2. The loss is the Isles' fifth in six games, and provides no relief for them as they head into the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia tonight to match up against a tough Flyers team.

The Isles never had the lead in this one, and never quite achieved any sort of flow either, whether because of the penalties they took or because, despite scoring a goal on the man-advantage, their power play suffered as well. The Leafs came out buzzing in the first, and their hard work paid off with a goal by Nikolai Kulemin, who pushed the puck past Joey MacDonald (making 33 saves in his 18th straight start) off a feed by Alexei Ponikarovsky. Twelve seconds later, though, Bill Guerin tipped a garbage goal past Vesa Toskala (26 saves) for his 11th of the year and a tie game. However, the Leafs still maintained control, outshooting the Isles 8-1 and putting a lot of pressure on the defense.

The second period opened with a power play for Toronto, and Brendan Witt in the box. They took it into the zone off the bat and managed to keep decent puck movement, but thanks to some great saves by MacDonald and constant work by the rest of the PK (especially Richard Park), the Leafs only managed to score once on five chances. That PP goal came from Ian White off a nice set up by Blake and Anton Stralman. After that, a penalty to Nic Antropov resulted in Sillinger getting a redirection and his first goal of the season in his third game back. However, late in the period, Blake got the wheels going and completely threw off Chris Campoli, blowing past him and tipping it past Joey for his sixth of the year (and only his 20th as a Leaf).

Both Blake Comeau and Nate Thompson headed off the ice at separate times in the third period, Comeau because of a tweak to his hand, and Thompson due to the flu (which I sure hope he passed to Ryan Hollweg during their fight in the first period- the dude threw two dirty hits in the game, one of which could have really injured Tim Jackman). Comeau returned for action in the third, where unfortunately the nail in the coffin was driven- Jeremy Williams, in his first game on the ice this season, drove home his first of the year on another set up by Blake, to make the score 4-2.

So now, the Isles go to Philly to meet up with Christine's favorite team to cheer against, the Flyers, and they look to find, hopefully, some Christmas magic to pull off a W. NOTE: THIS GAME IS ON VERSUS TONIGHT, NOT MSG PLUS.

Notes: Mike Sillinger hasn't lost his touch! He won 9 of 12 faceoffs... Josh Bailey was able to play in front of numerous members of his friends and family, in his first game in Toronto... Rick DiPietro is reportedly going to be back on the ice "very, very soon." Hmm... we'll keep an eye on that.

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