Thrashers 4: Islanders 2
Andy Hilbert broke an eight-game scoreless streak.
Sean Bergenheim scored his first in 15 shorthanded.
That didn't matter- the Islanders fell into double digits on their losing streak with last night's 4-2 loss to Atlanta on home ice. The lowly Thrashers were able to rebound from a lackluster performance the previous night- literally and figuratively- taking advantage of moments in which Joey MacDonald just could not hold onto the puck. The Isles took 36 minutes and 48 seconds to score, and even so, the fight to overcome a constant deficit proved too much to bear.
Off of goals by Mathieu Schneider and Bryan Little, the Thrashers mounted a 2-0 lead, while the Isles tried to find a way past the tight D and aggressive play of goaltender Johan Hedberg (25 saves). The offense took a while to find out how beneficial crashing the net can be- with both Hilbert and Trent Hunter headed straight for the crease, Richard Park headmanned a quick and effective play that ended with Hilbert putting in the rebound. Then, on the PK, Bergenheim (who looks like he might be getting his edge back) drove down the wing and completely turned around his defender, tipping the puck past Hedberg's right toe, at :23 of the third period.
Things looked good until what I've dubbed "the call"- a slashing penalty to Mike Comrie after he took a hit up high. The player he committed the penalty on sold it really well on the ice, but reportedly skated off of it laughing. Now, I won't dispute that Comrie chose the wrong time to pull something like that- on the power play? Really?- but even so, the call was one to be disputed. However, Comrie will get the blame for losing his cool here, especially when considering that Bryan Little scored his second of the game, and the game-winner for the Thrashers, on the resulting power play. And so the streak stretched to ten games, as Colby Armstrong scored the empty-netter.
Some things I noticed:
- It seems to be a recurring theme here- great chances, no finish. Jeff Tambellini actually had nice work this game, including one play where he bodied an Atlanta player off the puck in the offensive zone- but lo and behold, nothing came out of it except a clear, because no one helped out. And then there were all the shots that went wide, that were blocked, that Johan Hedberg saved easily, and that missed upstairs. No kidding around, but maybe the Isles need some target practice.
-the worst penalty kill in the league was able to kill the three penalties they committed against the Islanders. Missing Doug Weight much? Here's to hoping his groin gets better soon.
- Atlanta also blocked 25 shots altogether. Talk about a tight defense.
-Richard Park won a little lower than 50% of his faceoffs last night, as the team's most effective centerman.
- I still don't see Billy Guerin out there.
- Joey Mac looked like he was getting better at holding onto rebounds until last night. I believe two of the three goals he allowed were on the rebound- and please, correct me if I am wrong.
Overall, this loss was not the worst we have experienced. But it is our tenth in a row... and no doubt some are hoping the next two days will help the Isles regroup and pull off a win or two before 2008 is over.
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.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Thrashers 4: Islanders 2