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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, April 10, 2009

Another Good Start Leads to a Poor Finish As Isles Clinch 30th

Islanders 1: Penguins 6

There is something to be said for the beginning of this game: the Isles really fooled me into thinking they might pull this one off.

Starting out strong and pelting cold goalie Mathieu Garon with shots early, the Islanders looked like they had forgotten the mess of a game they had played just two nights earlier, which culminated in a terrible 9-0 loss to Carolina. Frans Nielsen eventually capitalized on the power play, off a deflected shot by Doug Weight, to put the Isles up 1-0.

Unfortunately, Pittsburgh wasn't deterred, and a slow start heated up slowly as the Pens got more shots on goal and Garon showed off some pretty amazing flexibility down low. The Islanders wasted two 5-on-3 power plays in this game while remaining relatively disciplined until the third period. Meanwhile, Philippe Boucher, Pascal Dupuis, Matt Cooke, Tyler Kennedy, Sergei Gonchar and ex-Islanders captain Bill Guerin all put the puck past recently embattled goalie Joey MacDonald for the win.

Granted, there are only two games left to the season now, and this is an Islanders club that has been fighting injuries all year- most recently Blake Comeau bowed out with a broken wrist (Mike Iggulden is playing in his place), and Kyle Okposo still isn't back in the lineup. Their energy is clearly missing from this club, which has lost 559 man-games due to injury. With this loss, they have clinched the worst record in the division, which heightens their chances of getting either the first or second overall pick in the draft, and we all know what they should do with either. However, it wouldn't hurt to still be competitive. I saw the difference in this team when they started skating in the first minute, and I knew they were still up to the challenge. What happened afterward isn't so clear-cut, but at any rate the last weekend of the regular season is upon us, and it provides no doubt a blessed end for both players and fans.

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