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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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Friday, January 16, 2009

Once More, A Goal Behind... and Rumors Abound

Bruins 2: Islanders 1

It all comes down to the question of just what the Islanders have to do to put pucks in net and get two points, and the answer is this- keep it completely simple.

The Islanders threw everything but the kitchen sink at Tim Thomas, tallying 41 shots total, but only one eluded the All-Star goalie as the Islanders dropped their sixth straight in January, 2-1. Not much was expected against the best team in the East, a group of players as scarily good as San Jose in the Western Conference, but the Isles kept up with and even outplayed them for much of the game, in every facet except the score.

Hits were the big factor in the first period. Brendan Witt, who's becoming more like his old self, threw a beautiful open-ice cruncher on Martin St. Pierre, who was caught with his head down. Forwards Jeff Tambellini and Kyle Okposo also threw around the body, as did Josh Bailey. The Isles also overtook the Bruins in shots 17-7, keeping immense pressure off of Yann Danis who made his third start of the season. Despite all of the chances generated by New York, they just could not finish anything. Near the end of the first, Kyle Okposo had to leave the ice due to being hit with the puck on a clearing attempt by Radek Martinek. He was very wobbly leaving the ice, but returned for the second sporting a face mask and a nice lump on the right side of his face.

From the final minutes of the first through the second period, Boston began to pressure the Isles, and their persistence paid off, as Marc Savard broke through with a tricky shot that went past Danis' arm at 3:30 of the second. The Isles fought to regain the edge then, even by fighting (which Tim Jackman gladly did, tussling with Shawn Thornton), but couldn't keep the plays simple- they simply did too much, still trying to make the perfect play rather than throwing shots to net. The David Krejci line in particular put tremendous pressure after the Savard goal, although the hotshot himself- Krejci- was pretty quiet all game. No matter: the reason Boston is so good is because of their nearly endless depth. Where Krejci was quiet, Savard and St.Pierre gladly picked up the slack. Despite pioneering efforts by Blake Comeau on the forecheck (four hits total for him as well), shots kept going wide, hitting the sides, or just shanked.

The third period saw more of the same, and then Boston scored their second goal- St. Pierre, whose stick is practically longer than he is, backhanded it past Danis for his 2nd of the year. Boston held that 2-0 lead until 19:06, where Thomas' shutout bid was spoiled by Bill Guerin who finally hit net on a deflection in front. The Isles worked hard with Danis on the bench for the extra skater, but ran out of time... as usual.

In other news...

- Wade Dubielewicz is back! Dubie agreed to terms with the Isles and may be available as early as tomorrow, depending on how long the process to clear waivers takes. With Joey MacDonald out indefinitely with a groin injury, and Rick DiPietro still dealing with his knee, it's likely Dubie will get the starting role once he gets to the Island. Dubie had been playing in the KHL but reportedly had been bought out by his team.

- Rumors are starting around the news that an exhibition game may be played by the Isles in Kansas City... the question arising from this was, are the Isles set to move to KC if the Lighthouse deal isn't agreed on? From the ruckus created around this piece of "information", the conclusion drawn indicated as much. Howie Rose and Billy Jaffe said this: if the Lighthouse isn't agreed on, chances are good that they will move off of the Island. As far as I'm concerned, this is all a very elaborate way to ensure that this multi-million dollar deal is put through, maximizing Charles Wang's chances of increasing revenue rather than simply renovating the Coliseum. But we shall see.

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