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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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Sunday, February 8, 2009

Only One Word Can Describe Last Night

Islanders 0: Lightning 1


For the fan, it's a huge letdown to see nearly sixty minutes of good, hardworking hockey, all sabotaged by a weak redirection- a flukey rebound straight to the player who had originally shot, Steve Eminger, and his second shot tipped in by Gary Roberts with 6:26 on the clock.

I can only imagine how the players felt, after shooting, skating, shot blocking and saving everything up until that point.

The truth was, this was a feisty, spirited game, and the Islanders did rise to the occasion, engaging in two fights in the first period alone (of which Tim Jackman and Bill Guerin respectively took part in). Also, you had your usual suspects causing mayhem and generating offense on the ice- Kyle Okposo, Frans Nielsen, Trent Hunter, and recently returned Sean Bergenheim. You also had some great defensive hockey played on both ends (see the extremely low score), and the goaltenders in each net- rookie Mike McKenna on the Tampa end, who made 28 saves, and Yann Danis on the Islanders' side- were likely never better. It only took that flukey rebound to end the stalemate, decide McKenna the winner of the game "Who Would Crack First?"

The only flaw in the Islanders' game was that they spent too much time defending in their own zone, and though they did all they could to even the play out in the second period, they never really kept up any offensive edge in this game. There were great plays by the Nielsen-Hunter tandem (yeah, it's turning into a tandem now- they just know each other so well, it's impossible now to imagine them playing with others), and a great rush by Okposo out of the penalty box with about a half-minute left in the game, trying to even it up but getting stoned by McKenna, who had a very strong performance for the first shutout of his career.

And so went the Isles, who have now dropped two straight games but who had a much improved game from their last one, against the Panthers. They seem to have turned a bit of a corner, but still need to work on offensive pressure and holding onto the puck. If they do that, they'll be able to win the next one.

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