Flyers 3: Islanders 2
Today I watched what might be my final televised Islanders game before I leave for college. You can perhaps say I had my hopes raised a bit too high considering the Isles had been outscored 15-1 prior to today's game. But it was all I could ask for, after a season with a few triumphs but more often full of disappointments and frustrations. Just one more win before I went would have sufficed.
Unfortunately, that didn't happen today, although the Isles put up a tremendous effort in the first period. Kyle Okposo was back in the lineup today, and his presence was felt fairly early. The Isles struck first, as Sean Bergenheim went to net and received a great pass from Doug Weight, tipping the puck past Martin Biron. The Isles had a lot of jump in them even after the goal, pushing hard and testing Biron up high on the forecheck, while at the same time covering Yann Danis well in front and preventing the Flyers from getting in too tight on him. They dictated most of the play in the first, and had tons of possession time.
Then the second opened, and Joffrey Lupul took advantage of a good flip pass from Braydon Coburn and moved around a badly committed Thomas Pock to put the puck past Danis, tying the score. After that, Kyle Okposo took a hooking penalty that the Flyers converted into a PP goal, thanks to hard work by Mike Knuble to stuff it in during a scrum in front of the net. After that, things got a bit sloppy on behalf of the Isles, but then Tim Jackman pulled them back even after a heads-up play by Andy Hilbert to put the puck in the Flyers' zone. No matter though; Simon Gagne got the lead back up to one in the blink of an eye, outgunning two Islanders to get to the puck.
In the third, the Isles had their work cut out for them- get their edge back against a Flyers team that steadily got better at keeping players back defensively in their zone to stifle the forecheck and also against a certified Islander killer- Martin Biron, who has a sterling record against this team. Although they tried their very best to do so, and also helped out Danis immensely- save for one moment where the Flyers almost went up 4-2 on an odd-man rush that Danis beautifully stymied), they couldn't get to overtime, and as such went down once more in what was a much better effort than in the previous two games... but couldn't get me very happy.
The Islanders' final game is tomorrow evening against Boston. I won't be watching, spending the day in New Jersey with family for Easter... but I hope they can give me something to smile about.
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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.
Saturday, April 11, 2009
Flyers 3: Islanders 2