TOI = 13:14
HAPPY Islanders 5 Sabres el zippo!!
LET'S GO ISLANDERS!!
The cutest penguin and orange feeties ever!
Welcome to the NYIslesScene!
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.
Rangers 1: Islanders 3
Re-read that if you don't believe it.
The hockey gods certainly gave us a wonderful gift last night- our first regulation win over our arch-rivals, the Rangers. The Rangers! How many Isles fans- wait, no, how many Rangers fans- were expecting that? Not many, I can assure you. I was even dreading coming back to my dorm room last night to see the score.
But lo and behold, our young ones pulled it off against the big, bad Blueshirts, who looked anything but last night (or so I'm told)- flat and uninspired, while the Islanders, who always show up against their division rivals, skated all over them. It started with the complete surprise of the season to date, Matt Moulson, who scored on a clean breakaway 55 seconds into the game to take a 1-0 lead. Pierre Parenteau, the recent call-up for the Rangers, would tie the game up 8:30 into the first, but his was the only bright spot for the guys from New York City, who hit an astounding number of posts and whose defense wasn't altogether spectacular (oh, that feels good to say, especially when your team is usually the one with a Swiss-cheese defense- no offense, Mark Streit).
Perhaps the one point where the Rangers could have taken the lead came in the second period, about seven minutes in, where a 2-on-1 developed in the Isles zone. Ryan Callahan and Vinny Prospal, however, couldn't make good, with Callahan hitting a post. That was the story of the night for them. The Isles, meanwhile, apparently hit the net all night. Kyle Okposo (who hasn't scored in the longest time) tallied a power-play goal which proved to be the game-winner, with John Tavares providing an insurance goal with about five minutes left in the third period. Game, set, match, New York Islanders.
Dwayne Roloson made 34 saves last night in what I understand was a very strong showing, which is great for him. All that's left is to get Marty Biron a W for the 200th of his career. As for the JT line, well, all I can say is that they are definitely producing up to par- Tavares is looking nearly as good as we imagined, though he's got some work to do particularly regarding puck protection, and as stated before, Moulson came out of nowhere to lead the Isles in points. Who thought this 25-year-old picked up from the Kings would be so good for this club? Though I'm sure no one's complaining. And it's good to see KO get back into the swing of things with his goal, after being just a bit quiet the past few games- oh, and he also got seven shots on goal. Now THAT is fierce. Also, Doug Weight was back on the ice for the Isles after missing three games with swine flu, and we ended up scoring a power-play goal. Coincidence? I think not. He is the master. He is the captain. :)
Well, all of this winning and stuff has me thinking that mayyybe I'm a bit of a jinx (sadface); however, I'm sure I'll get over myself in time to see the Isles' next game, Friday night at 7:00 at Washington (which is once again being shown on MSG Plus in HD, thank the hockey gods). In the meantime, I will definitely enjoy smiling over this well-deserved and long-awaited two points!
LET'S GO ISLANDERS!!!
Posted by Angelica Rodriguez at 9:38 AM
The team…something’s gotta give.
The organization…someone’s gotta go.
Jeff Tambellini…Oz never did give nothing to the Tin Man that he didn’t already have.
Martin Biron...an Islander? Despite being a former Flyer, um YAY TEAM!!
Angie…thanks for taking care of the blog posts…schoolwork first. : )
Be back soon.
LET'S GO ISLANDERS!!
ps. Chris Chelios...playing in the AHL? Wha?
pss. Phillies or Yankees...New Yorker rooting for a New York team even if it's not my team vs Mets fan who would rather see Phillies win than stupid Yankees. Finkel and Einhorn, Einhorn and Finkel kind of moment yields undecided. LACES OUT!
Islanders 2: Canadiens 3 (OT)
I'm getting a little tired of overtime.
That really isn't the most original thought that has crossed this blogger's mind, but no doubt many more echo this sentiment. After coming out with some jump, coming back to tie the game, and coming into OT despite some mistakes, the Islanders made the biggest one of all: a change while the Canadiens were headed into their zone.
Before you could say "John Tavares," former Islander Roman Hamrlik had scored the game winner, and the Isles were left once again with that taste in their mouths- one of dissatisfaction and disappointment. The only bright spot? Jeff Tambellini, who tallied the only two goals for the Islanders to bring his season total to three goals- in two games. Also, Martin Biron did as well as he could while the defense fell apart. But overall, though the first few minutes of the game did look promising, and the end result was much closer than in the previous game at the Bell Centre (Saturday night), there wasn't much to be happy about.
Travis Moen and Jaroslav Spacek also had goals for the Habs. Glen Metropolit had two assists. For the Isles, Kyle Okposo, Josh Bailey and Matt Moulson had assists on the two Tambellini goals.
Somebody please, please, wake up Mark Streit. The poor guy was falling all over the place last night. Two or three giveaways, an overall sense of just not being "with it"- our top pointscorer last season has some 'splainin to do. Injury, perhaps? Maybe an illness? Flu bug's going around- it already hit Doug Weight, apparently, who by the way missed his third straight game.
...and from there we go to the PP, which is sorely missing its captain. Somehow, someway, Dougie has a good chance of making something happen on the man-advantage, and since he's been out of the lineup, we haven't exactly made good. On the plus side, our penalty kill is looking quite good...
...and it didn't have much opportunity to show off last night, either, to the dismay of many a Habs fan at the Bell Centre. One of their players could trip over their own stick and they'd want a penalty. Sheesh.
Anyway, I'll be missing the Isles-Rangers game on Wednesday, to my intense displeasure (freakin' NHL schedule and putting big games on Wednesday nights! Grr!) so feel free to fill me in. Thanks!
Posted by Angelica Rodriguez at 8:45 PM
Islanders 2: Capitals 3 (OT)
I won't lie- watching two hockey games in a row after missing nearly a week straight is good. Watching two losses in a row? Not so much.
But when you're an Islanders fan, as much is to be expected, as the flaws in Coach Scott Gordon's system continue to be evident and the Isles blow yet another opportunity to get two points, this time against the Washington Capitals. And get this- Alexander Ovechkin didn't even have to score a goal.
In all honesty, Ovechkin was barely a factor in this game; although he had an assist, he repeatedly missed the net, and I don't even think he recorded an official shot on goal. However, Mike Green and Keith Aucoin did- they were the ones who scored to pull the Caps even with the Isles, after Radek Martinek struck in the first period on a beautiful shorthanded play (his first career SHG) and Jeff Tambellini scored HIS first of the season (remember him?!). For forty minutes at the very least, the Islanders were the better team of the two. They executed their forecheck much better, in comparison to a flat Washington team that could not generate anything on offense for much of the game, and even got lucky on their second goal (it banked off of the leg of Josh Bailey, who tried to do Dwayne Roloson's job for him when it wasn't necessary).
In the end, the Isles' system of play, which I believe steadily wore them down as time passed, couldn't prevail, and the D allowed Mike Green to fly up the ice and pass to Brooks Laich, who put it home and capped the Caps' comeback (forgive the pun).
Some people want to blame this on the goaltending (which I don't find at fault), or the defense (which I somewhat find is to blame for many of our losses). But I just think that if Scott Gordon were to tweak the system, he might find an entire world of change from one game to the next. How many games now have we seen a monumental breakdown? Wasn't the game against Boston the tipoff that mayyyybe something had to be done regarding how our team plays? Even if not, think of it this way; we have no first-place lead to protect, we don't have anything to worry about as far as playoffs are concerned (at least not for now), so why not think outside the box? It wouldn't hurt to try something different- instead of a two-man forecheck, maybe one man to prevent the entire team from tiring out. And enough of this overall "Overspeed" concept- some players are just naturally fast, and some are not. By pushing them to their limit all the time, all you're doing is getting them more easily exhausted. You're not going to make a Jason Blake or an Eric Staal out of Brendan Witt, for example, so stop trying. Besides, this is the definition of insanity at this point- executing the same thing every game and expecting different results.
If I sound overly critical, it's not by choice. It just appears to me that while we all knew that this wasn't going to be an overnight turnaround, there are some things here that are and should be changed and improved upon. But after all, I am still just the blogger in the room. We'll see what happens Monday night against Montreal.
Posted by Angelica Rodriguez at 5:03 PM
Islanders 1: Canadiens 5
Just 24 hours after the Islanders' emotional first win of the season over the Hurricanes, they went in completely the opposite direction.
Josh Bailey was the only goalscorer in a 5-1 drubbing by the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre last night, the one game this week that I'd actually been able to physically sit down and watch. After the showing our boys put on, I almost wish I had missed it. Looking completely out of it and unable to get anything going offensively, the Isles basically left Martin Biron out to dry as he still looks for his 200th career win.
I'm not going to go incredibly deep into this latest loss, but I am going to make a few points:
We shall see if our boys can pick up the slack against Alexander Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals on Saturday night, though just the name "Alexander Ovechkin" makes me think that they'll be hard-pressed to do so. If they couldn't pull off a win against Scott Gomez, they'll have their work cut out for them against #8. Though that's the beauty of the game: anything can and usually will happen, and the Isles have been known to upset a few great teams before (do the Detroit Red Wings come to mind?) So stay tuned.
Posted by Angelica Rodriguez at 10:41 AM
Hurricanes 3: Islanders 4 (SO)
Say it ain't so, Joe! Or in this case, John, as in John Tavares, who scored the shootout winner in a game that looked for a split second as though it would go the way of all the other games before it- Isles take a lead, Isles lose a lead, Isles lose a game. But instead, the Islanders made things right after losing a 3-1 lead in the third period, and were able to hold onto the two points.
As I was sitting in my 6 p.m. Mass Communication class and listening to a lecture on film (joy!), the Islanders took on the Carolina Hurricanes and started off strong. Matt Moulson opened up the scoring at around the 8-minute mark, with help from Andy Sutton to initiate the play. After the first goal, Brendan Witt scuffed skates with Scott Walker, and fought pretty well until he got knocked off balance. But that was all for the first period.
In the second, Carolina was able to tie things up on the power play (with Blake Comeau in the sin bin for interference), as Scott Cullen scored on a wacky goal that banked off of D Jack Hillen and past Dwayne Roloson. Timmy Jackman would get the lead back for the Isles, however, on an assist from Nate Thompson. 49 seconds later, the score was 3-1 New York, when Andy Sutton batted a Hillen shot out of mid-air and into the net. After quick review, it was ruled a goal.
However, as New York (perhaps?) got worn down, Carolina kept going, and Eric Staal and Jussi Jokinen eliminated the lead in the third period, perhaps just as I was getting back from class and interviewing my professor for a project. Just like that, it was 3-3, and overtime was imminent.
Nothing happened there, and a fast-paced OT led to a shootout. Immediately you could sense some fear among the Isles fans furiously tweeting and Facebooking about the game. Roloson is a good goalie, but he hasn't faced many of these EC shooters... his five hole is shaky... who was Gordon going to put into the shootout... ugh, we're going to lose this game, were just some of the thoughts running through my head. But Rollie stood tall, denying one shot and allowing another, and the Isles were a perfect three-for-three - Jeff Tambellini, Frans Nielsen, and Tavares all scored to preserve the second point and give the Isles their first win of the season, finally.
Relief!! Now for tonight's game against Montreal, who some say isn't as good as last year's squad, but can still give us some trouble tonight. We'll see how it goes.
Notes: Andy Sutton had his first multi-point game since Nov. 29, 2008... Hillen, Nielsen and Tambellini were the only three Isles who didn't register an official shot throughout regulation and OT... Tavares had 6 shots on goal... Mark Streit led, as usual, TOI with 27:07... Bruno Gervais, Rob Schremp and Jon Sim were scratches for the Isles last night.
Posted by Angelica Rodriguez at 2:18 PM
Well, you and I have some catching up to do. It's been a whirlwind for me this week, what with endless lacrosse practices and classes, and schoolwork and trying to find time to sleep in between. College is definitely something to get used to. However, with the Islanders having lost three in a row right now, I think it might be a good thing that I haven't been able to watch.
Not that it makes it any easier. Whoever makes up the Isles' schedule really doesn't like the team, do they? Otherwise they wouldn't have stuck us on a nothing channel like MSG+ 2, which doesn't even exist unless all three teams play each other one night. I understand it's because of overflow, but would it be too much to ask to at least make a real channel for us, if that's the case?
At any rate, even a better channel wouldn't help the Isles, who supposedly made a few strides yesterday against San Jose after looking flat against Los Angeles on Monday and then getting completely drubbed by Buffalo on Friday night. Matt Moulson even put the Islanders on the board first, and from what I hear we were spirited and feisty early on. But then things started to pile up, and the pressure was put on, and we just lost it. It's a shame, once more to lose, but it's expected. We can't yet establish a forecheck, and our D is just not good. Our young players still need work, though they have been producing, and as for the system... maybe we shouldn't go there just yet. But something has to be changed. Maybe the D pairs need some tweaking; maybe the lines themselves... maybe Richard Park has to be taken off the faceoff circle... something needs to be fixed. Or maybe they just need time to "jell" and become a cohesive unit.
The rest of this month doesn't look too promising for the Isles as far as looking for a win is concerned. They play Carolina on Wednesday, then Montreal, and match up with teams like Washington, the Rangers, and Buffalo once more to close out the season. With teams like these, the Isles are really going to have to assert themselves and get something going, and fast.
Till next time,
Posted by Angelica Rodriguez at 12:16 PM
The LI Press has reported that Charles Wang is internally abandoning the Lighthouse Project, hiring the main people working on it to other projects. No confirmation yet from other newspapers.
Posted by Angelica Rodriguez at 4:38 PM
Islanders 3: Bruins 4 (SO)
There's something about the number three that spooks this Islanders team. They can play a wonderful game- up until the third period. They somehow cannot get anything going in a shootout for the time being- which involves three shooters. And this is the third game in a row that has gone to OT or a shootout and has been lost by this team.
So what now?
The Islanders dropped yet another game while receiving a point, and this one is the most painful to date. After leading the Boston Bruins 3-0- yeah, you read right- the Islanders coughed up the lead in the final period, had the game taken to OT, and fell apart completely in the shootout.
The opening period started out with good defensive hockey on both ends, although the Islanders didn't do much to really test goalie Tuukka Rask. One thing you have to do is make a goalie move if you want to score a goal, and while Rask did make one or two nice saves, he remained pretty stationary for most of the period- and at 6'3, 169 lbs, you can bet he'll be blocking most, if not all, of the shots. Richard Park took a penalty early on in the first, which the Isles killed effectively, then redeemed himself with hard work to draw a Boston penalty. This back-and-forth PK/PP hurt the flow of the game significantly, but I suppose it hurt the Isles less than the Bruins- they outshot Boston about 17-3 in the first period, and good defense kept the Bruins from establishing any type of forecheck for the first two periods. As for power plays, the Isles started out well, with good puck movement and getting opportunities, but then spent most of their time in their own zone on a 5-on-3 opportunity. Late in the first, the D broke down a bit, allowing Boston to get in some more shots on goalie Dwayne Roloson, who was equal to the task despite hardly getting any action for most of the frame.
In the second period, Boston got a couple more opportunities that Roloson stymied, including a great save on Chuck Kobasew. Then Jon Sim broke the scoring open- yeah, Jon Sim!- at 4:04. Rob Schremp sent a shot to the net that Rask saved, but couldn't hold the rebound on, allowing Sim who was parked right in front of the net to tap in for the goal. All of this happened on the power play, with Milan Lucic in the box for hooking. After that, Roloson had a highlight reel save: with Boston on a PP of their own, Marco Sturm made his way to the front of the net and shot up high on Rollie, who made a spectacular glove save to keep the Bruins off the board. Up until the third period, he was highly confident and took away some great chances for Boston.
Radek Martinek added to the board for the Isles with a goal on a great play by Mark Streit, who faked out several Bruins before feeding Martinek, who came in undetected. John Tavares had second assist on that goal, and then a goal of his own on a 2-on-1 with Matt Moulson (who also had a strong game), after Freddy Meyer made a good play to spring them loose into the neutral zone. The score- 3-0. The Islanders looked very good.
And then everything fell apart.
The third started out okay, with the Isles playing good D (especially by forwards Nate Thompson, in for an injured Doug Weight, and Blake Comeau) and forcing the Bruins to take long-range shots that Roloson stopped easily. The game was also starting to get a good flow, which perhaps was what made Boston dangerous all of a sudden. At any rate, Marc Savard was first to chip away at the lead the Isles had so solidly built over two periods, scoring at 11:59 of the third on feeds from Zdeno Chara and Lucic. Then defenseman Byron Bitz flew in and backhanded it past Roloson at 15:35, making the Isles' lead very precarious- at this point, only Tavares' goal was the difference-maker. And then it disappeared completely, with Matt Hunwick somehow getting the puck in at 17:36. Gone was the lead, gone was the good D that had kept it, and gone was any shred of confidence from Roloson.
Overtime passed into a shootout, and somehow I knew that we would not come out of this one with two points. Roloson is a good goalie, but he hadn't been stellar in the last shootout, and neither was he in this one, as he allowed both Blake Wheeler and Marc Savard to score. Meanwhile, Schremp was the only one to score in the shootout, as both Richard Park and Kyle Okposo missed and the Bruins capped their comeback with the second point. And strangely, the player who had tons of impact and two points on the night- Tavares- was nowhere to be seen. Which leaves me with two questions- one, why did Scott Gordon elect to change around the defensive coverage in the third, allowing Boston to gain so much room on the ice? And second, not to drink the Kool-Aid here, but... if Tavares had been on the ice, particularly in the shootout, would things have been different?
Notes: Jeff Tambellini was a scratch again last night... Trent Hunter is on the IR for 2-4 weeks with a torn pectoral muscle... Joel Rechlicz was recalled from Bridgeport to fill Hunter's spot.
Posted by Angelica Rodriguez at 8:46 AM
Islanders 2: Senators 3
Who would have thought this up?
The first road game for the New York Islanders started with Martin Biron in net, new captain Doug Weight on the ice and a few mistakes. It ended with Mike Fisher snapping a hard but bad-angle shot past Biron- and more than a few mistakes. In the end, the Senators took this one, 3-2 in overtime, leaving the Isles winless still.
Biron did all he could in this one, as far as I'm concerned. He came up big on quite a few occasions, one three minutes in as Spezza charged in on him, Freddy Meyer hot on his tail. As Spezza tried to go backhand, Biron poked the puck away and it trickled wide of the net, keeping the game scoreless. Peter Regin would rectify that, however, scoring a back-door goal on a feed from Chris Neil at 7:25. Then in the second, Matt Carkner doubled the lead, shooting the puck toward the front of the net where it banked off of players in front and went in. At the point of the second goal, the Isles were, quite frankly, a mess- no established forecheck, defensively shaky, and unable to capitalize on a few PP opportunities.
They did mount a comeback, however, starting with an incredible play by Kyle Okposo. The play started off with Matt Moulson stopping the puck at the blueline and feeding it to the winger, who came in one-on-one against Anton Volchenkov, leaned in a faked a shot, then pulled around an already-committed Volchenkov and charged to the net, missing his first opportunity, but sticking with it and stuffing the puck past Pascal Leclaire as he fell to the ice. That effort made for one of his prettiest goals yet.
Moulson would also score the tying goal for the Islanders in the third period, on the PP. As one Senator made his way to the bench on a change, he allowed Doug Weight time to creep down the wing with the puck, looking for a centering pass. As he got to the corner, he saw his opportunity and fed it gently to Moulson in front, who one-timed it for the goal. John Tavares had the second assist, proving that his line has some great impact on the ice and is working well together (Tavares, Okposo, Moulson).
The game went to OT, and that proved to be the killer- throughout the game, the defense had been porous at best, allowing Senators players to sneak in undetected and get in front of the goal, on top of Biron. Late in the third, only a brilliant glove snap on Alexei Kovalev by Biron kept the score from becoming 3-2 in regulation. But there was no such luck in OT, as the D pinched way too high up, letting Mike Fisher blow down the side and blast it by the goalie, who lost sight of the puck. The Islanders were able to get a point, and had come back from a 2-0 deficit, which made it slightly better than their opener. But it's still not enough.
Nor are the countless missed shots and opportunities by the Isles forwards- Tavares getting a little too fancy, Sean Bergenheim taking too long to get a shot off, and on top of that, shot after shot missing the net and hitting the back boards. I was only able to listen to most of this game, and hearing Howie Rose repeating "missed the net" every minute or so was excruciating. Maybe it's to be expected from a young team still learning, but this is highly reminiscent of last year as well, and it needs to be worked on this season.
Notes: Biron finished with 25 saves... Rob Schremp played his first game with the Isles after being acquired off waivers from Edmonton, and is wearing #13 (former captain Bill Guerin's number)... Jonathan Cheechoo was a new face in the Ottawa lineup, playing for the Sens after being traded with Milan Michalek for disgruntled forward Dany Heatley. It'll be interesting to see former matchups with Ottawa with him in the lineup now.
Posted by Angelica Rodriguez at 7:43 AM
Well, it's hockey season once more, and the 2009-10 season opened up in high style, with a showdown between division rivals. The Islanders took to the ice in their own arena for the first season opener in quite a while at Nassau Coliseum against the defending Stanley Cup Champions, the Pittsburgh Penguins, and it proved to be exciting, disappointing, and promising all in the same game.
A sold-out crowd watched as the Isles eventually dropped the game, 4-3, in a shootout after having a 3-2 lead in the third period. However, the game was not without its high points.
Captain Sidney Crosby scored first for the Penguins, breaking in alone on goaltender Dwayne Roloson on a 2-on-1 to make it 1-0. A couple of fights commenced afterward, first between Tim Jackman and Mike Rupp, and then again between Jay McKee and Brendan Witt after Witt laid a monster hit on former teammate Ruslan Fedotenko. Evgeni Malkin also initiated a shoving match with Witt, resulting in a 5-on-3 penalty that the Islanders made good on. Mark Streit got the puck from fellow point man Kyle Okposo and blasted a shot from just behind the blueline that got past Marc-Andre Fleury, tying it up.
The Islanders carried that tie into the second period, and then came a great moment for both a young player and for Isles fans. John Tavares, the No. 1 draft pick and would-be star center for the Isles in a few years, was able to get the puck and backhand it past Fleury for the first goal of his NHL career. This came after he got his first NHL point in the first period (second assist on Streit's goal). The goal gave New York a 2-1 lead and electrified the Coliseum crowd. Shortly afterward, Tavares had another opportunity as Okposo sprung him on a breakaway, but Fleury made a brilliant glove save to keep it at a one-goal lead.
Mark Eaton would tie the game once more at 2 with a shot that went off of Jon Sim's stick and past the goal line, but 27 seconds later, the Isles would answer back in the form of Trent Hunter (remember him??!), who shot a one-timer from Josh Bailey (who otherwise was strangely quiet last night) to take the lead once more.
The Isles felt pretty good about themselves, going into the third, no doubt. But the good and bad thing about games between New York and Pittsburgh is that, as division rivals, things can get pretty intriguing- and usually do not end up in the Isles' favor. And so it was that the Pens worked hard to get the score even again, with Fedotenko all better from his hit by Witt and getting the puck past a sprawled-out Roloson. With that, the game went to OT, and then uneventfully to a shootout, where Jeff Tambellini, who usually comes up big in the SO, struck out, and then John Tavares never even hit the mark. Meanwhile, Kris Letang and Crosby both got the puck past Roloson for the win. I don't want to be a downer on Rollie here, but other than perhaps one good save, I didn't see much I liked out of him. I would be much more secure in starting Martin Biron, who has proved his mettle as a #1 goalie many times, especially against us. We have nothing to lose if we start him. But we shall see.
That said, it's still very early in this hockey season, and we've got plenty more action to come. So far, it looks as though there's a lot of promise in the youth, especially considering how well KO and Tavares worked together. That will be tested again on Thursday in Ottawa, as the Isles face off against the Senators.
Notes: The Penguins outshot the Islanders by nearly double, 42-28... new captain Doug Weight was a scratch (groin injury), along with Blake Comeau (illness) and Frans Nielsen (knee surgery)... Mark Streit predictably led all Isles in ice time with around 26 minutes... new Isle Matt Moulson led in shots with 5... G Rick DiPietro was conspicuously left out of the Isles' opening roll call. Think it's a sign? Just something to chew on until next time.
Posted by Angelica Rodriguez at 12:47 PM