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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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Try not. Do...or do not.


Sunday, March 29, 2009

What's Witt That? Defenseman in Shootout As Isles Fall to Flyers

Flyers 4: Islanders 3

Saturday night was definitely all right for fighting by both the Islanders' and Flyers' standards, and perhaps it cost the Isles one point in the long-term.

With New York out to a two-goal lead in the second period, four consecutive fights led to 34 minutes in penalties. Nate Thompson, Daniel Carcillo, Joel Rechlicz, Riley Cote, Tim Jackman, Arron Asham, Doug Weight and Simon Gagne all mixed it up with each other over a span of 9:57, in an obvious attempt by the Flyers to push the Isles off their focus. Doug Weight led the way with 19 total PIM, having taken 17 in the first for instigating with Darroll Powe, sticking up for Jackman after what he considered a bad hit. And all of this with an Islanders LEAD.

I think they dislike the Flyers as much as Christine does.

Anyway, let's backtrack to the hockey. The Islanders' lead was created by Radek Martinek, who banked a shot off of a Flyer's stick and past Martin Biron for the 1-0 lead. Then in the second, Jeff Tambellini had a highlight-reel goal- spinning around, he batted a centering pass from Kyle Okposo that bounced past Biron and doubled the lead. At this point, any doubt of the Isles' ability to carry over the emotion from the previous night's win over Detroit was vanquished, as New York was playing Philly hard and rolling to a great start.

Then came the fights. And in the third period, it all (almost) fell apart.

Joffrey Lupul scored the Flyers' first and third goals. His first was a soft bank off of Yann Danis from the right side that admittedly should have been a save, but nonetheless got the busloads of incredibly annoying Flyers fans in the Coliseum going. Then Scott Hartnell scored on a rebound as Jeff Carter made a smart play, shooting from practically the same spot just so the puck could come to Hartnell. Finally, the Flyers inexplicably took the lead less than two minutes later, with Lupul making a wonderful play from the right side (where else?) and going top shelf on Danis. It looked grim for the Isles until Mark Streit collected his own rebound after redirecting a shot from Okposo and put it home. Game tied, 3-3, and once again Streit helps the Isles out after they shoot themselves in the foot.

Overtime started with a bang: just before, Blake Comeau completely laid out a Flyer with one of his four hits of the night, further proving he's becoming quite a good forechecker. Kyle Okposo also got some time with Mark Streit in the 4-on-4 play, which showed Scott Gordon's growing faith in the young winger. OT passed without a goal scored, and then came the shootout, which had many a fan scratching their heads. At least, I was saying, "What the...?!"

Now, I love Brendan Witt, but even I have to admit this guy isn't what we'd call an "offensive machine." Tell him to check and he does it; expect him to score in a shootout, and it's kinda like asking a dog to meow. But as the first shooter in the shootout, he did try his best, and got off a decent shot (top shelf) that Biron grabbed. Frans Nielsen scored the Islanders' lone goal, and Mark Streit also got a shot that he failed to convert on. Meanwhile, both Daniel Briere and Mike Richards scored for the Flyers, putting away the game and sending the obnoxious Flyers fans home happy... while making me wonder, what was Gordon thinking?? Having fun and trying out new things is one thing... not taking things seriously, even when you have no chance of winning anything important, is quite another. Which side this falls on is clear- at least, I hope. As for Witt... nice try, man, hope next time it's a goal!

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