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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, February 27, 2009

Hard Work, But No Icing on the Cake

Maple Leafs 5: Islanders 4 (SO)

I bet Tim Stapleton never thought he'd have the game winner in his NHL debut.

Thanks to the shootout, however, he gave the Leafs a not-so-much needed lift over the Islanders, 5-4, after they gave up a 2-0 lead, only to get it back and then lose it again. No doubt this was a roller coaster of a game, and it started in the first, as Nikolai Kulemin scored only 1:27 in on Joey MacDonald. Then in the second, Dominic Moore scored shorthanded- only 57 seconds in. Talk about nightmare. There was quite a bit of shorthanded action going on- Sean Bergenheim got awarded a penalty shot that was stopped by Vesa Toskala as well. You'll hear more about Bergie in a minute. Meanwhile, Dean McAmmond cut the lead in half with his first goal as a New York Islander. Congrats!

Now back to Bergie shorthanded. He had yet another chance, a breakaway attempt with Jeff Tambellini in the box serving a major penalty for Brendan Witt (elbowing), and this time he made no mistake- he put the puck right between Toskala's pads and tied the score at 2. The Leafs were rattled a bit, but got the 2-goal lead back within three minutes thanks to Pavel Kubina (PP) and Nik Antropov. But the Isles rallied on the skates and sticks of Mark Streit and Jon Sim, and before anyone knew it, the crowd was cheering something fierce (which I was incredibly proud of, especially considering the organist didn't even prompt them) and we were blowing right past OT to the shootout.

There, Frans Nielsen started things off nice and smooth, but hit the post on the shot. Then came Kulemin, who was stoned by MacDonald. Jeff Tambellini was next, and scored on the same shot he did against the Penguins- a wrister from the hashes that beat Toskala high, prompting me to stand and cheer (I called it!). Jason Blake, however, did Tamby one better- he pulled a spin move practically on top of MacDonald, pulling him out of position and putting the puck in the net for a tie score. Kyle Okposo had the opportunity to give the Isles the lead, but he made the error of too many moves and lost the handle on the puck once again. Then Stapleton came along and rifled it in for the win.

After all that hard work, you would believe it to be a bit of a letdown, and it was for the most part, but the Islanders did what they needed to do to get it to OT, and they overcame some costly mistakes to get one point.


7th Woman said...

Don't you think we should start calling Jeff Tambellini "Mr. Shootout" since that's where he can find the back of the net????

AngieOnTheNYIslesScene said...

Hey, whatever works, haha. I love that shot he takes from the hashes- it seems to find the one spot that the goalie just can't reach. He's got a great wrister for sure.