Devils 3: Islanders 1
If two strong games against two of the best teams in the Eastern Conference can be counted as steps forward, last night's lethargic showing against the New Jersey Devils is a huge step back.
The Devils skated all over the Islanders, 3-1, just hours after the Isles lost yet another goaltender, Wade Dubielewicz, this time to procedural waivers. Perhaps that had a little something to do with the Isles' obvious lack of awareness on the ice, particularly in the first period; nearly every play became a turnover in favor of New Jersey, and every one-on-one battle and loose puck was won by the Devils. Yann Danis had a big hand in the first New Jersey goal at 6:06 of the first, as he completely froze behind the net while attempting to handle the puck and gave it up to Zach Parise, who eventually got it to Travis Zajac for the goal on an empty net. All of that happened on an Islanders power play, by the way, and on their second and final PP they wouldn't get much better- they allowed a breakaway by Zajac, which was thankfully and spectacularly gloved by Danis. That didn't spark the Isles, however, who spent too much time in their own zone, too much time chasing the play, and who were extremely lucky to escape the period with only a one-goal deficit.
At :57 of the second period, though, it became 2-0, as Parise cashed in on a bad rebound by Danis in front, with Nate Thompson serving two minutes for boarding. Then, at 4:58, Danis allowed one he should have had, as David Clarkson took a pass from John Madden and fired over Danis' shoulder for the go-ahead goal. Danis never even moved. A fight between Tim Jackman and Bryce Salvador galvanized the Isles into more physical action, but it ended up to be too little, too late.
Blake Comeau scored his fourth of the year in the third to at least end hopes of a shutout for Scott Clemmensen, who has been tremendous in his effort to fill in for the injured Martin Brodeur (32 saves). In that period, the Isles upped the ante and made the shot total more even (final tally 36-33 NJ), but they took way too long to get started, as Danis pointed out in the postgame interviews, and they end up with another loss (their seventh straight), while Parise, Zajac and the high-flying Devils won their third straight, and 5 of their last 6 meetings against their Tri-State Area rivals.
Notes: Bill Guerin and Doug Weight were honored at the beginning of the game, Guerin for his 400th point and Weight for reaching 1,000 points (the fourth to do so as an Islander)... Brendan Witt and Blake Comeau led the team in hits with four... Sean Bergenheim missed his second straight game with a side strain.
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.
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Devils 3: Islanders 1