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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.

Islanders 2014-15 Season Mantra

Try not. Do...or do not.


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Schremp, Roloson Stave Off Blue Jackets

Blue Jackets 1: Islanders 2 (SO)

So it took a shootout, but the Islanders managed to make their final home game of the first decade of the 2000s a win. It came at the artistic hands of Rob Schremp and the pads of Dwayne Roloson, who stood tall in the skills competition to win the two points for the Isles.

Over the years, I've grown to like, then dread, then detest the shootout, for different reasons. I now see the point of the purists who argue that it's nothing more than a gimmick designed to pull in fans, and while it does its job, I can't help but think that it doesn't do much for the game. I think it might also give teams a bit of an excuse not to push as hard in the preceding five-minute overtime, as they figure they'll just send out their snipers to strut their stuff against each goalie and be done with it. That shouldn't be the attitude, but sometimes I feel as though it is.

That said, the shootout does do a service to some teams, particularly if they- like the Isles- give up leads frequently, and if they- like the Isles- have a guy like Schremp in their lineup, who has a shootout bag o' tricks, if you will. On this night, he opted to hesitate until the very last minute and made goalie Steve Mason move first, then roofed the puck neatly over the sprawled netminder for the only shootout goal. Then Roloson took defenseman Fedor Tyutin wide and cemented the win for the Isles. All of this after only one goal by the Isles' Josh Bailey (or Kyle Okposo- kept going back and forth) and one by the Blue Jackets' R.J. Umberger, the Jacket with perhaps the most presence on the ice tonight.

This was a needlessly hard-fought win for the Isles, yet hardly unexpected. When you give away the puck, miss the net, and flub passes this much, it's bound to happen. And after a lucky bounce that turned into Bailey's goal, the tying goal at the beginning of the third period was scored thanks to the mass of Islanders blocking Roloson's sight of the puck. Nothing new. Slowly they allowed the Blue Jackets more time on offense and stayed hemmed in their own zone, trying and failing to get the puck out along the boards. The defense did all it could just to get to OT afterward, and then played well through the five-minute period- yet on offense, the best they could muster was a Josh Bailey post and a Mark Streit elbow- no, not an actual elbow; he hit the spot in the net where the crossbar and post meet, needless to say, not breaking his now 21-game goal-less streak. Shame.

A win's a win, however, and the Isles will gladly take this last one at home for the year 2009, traveling next to Ottawa to take on the Senators for New Year's Eve. Let's hope we ring in 2010 with another two points!


Notes: Nate Thompson will be out 1-2 weeks with a shoulder injury; Jeff Tambellini has replaced him in the lineup... John Tavares has had 1 goal in his last 10 games- that hurts our offensive output... CBJ goalie Mason had come into this matchup with nearly a 4.oo goals-against average on the road; he allowed only one in regulation tonight, as well as Schremp's shootout winner...the penalty kill for the Isles has allowed no goals in four games, after allowing practically 2 a game.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

So Much for Getting a Streak Going

Islanders 1: Flyers 2

Okay, so the score was tight. And yeah, when you compare it with the 6-2 beating the Islanders got the last time they squared off against the Flyers, it looks somewhat respectable. But this is the 13th straight time that Philadelphia's beaten them. What gives?

Okay, so Mike Richards is quite good, and Daniel Briere's not incredibly easy to beat. And Jeff Carter's a certified Islander killer no matter what his recent stats are. But are the Flyers really that tough of a team to play against, for crying out loud? This is bordering on the absurd. And quite frankly, it was not for lack of trying tonight- the Isles managed to get a few good chances on offense; it was unfortunate mistakes leading to odd-man rushes and the continued spottiness of one Martin Biron in net that made this loss possible. Penalties didn't help, either.

In the end, only Jon Sim was able to get anything past Michael Leighton, the goalie picked up on waivers by Philly after Ray Emery went down with injury and Brian Boucher, I suppose, proved to be unreliable. In any case, Leighton made 28 saves on 29 shots and outplayed Biron.

There's not much more I can say about this game, except that after an emotional and well-deserved win over the Rangers on Saturday, this is definitely a deflating loss. It wasn't a problem with effort, just with execution in some places, and unfortunately the Isles could not rebound. So it goes.

Next game against the Blue Jackets, on the 29th, which is Tuesday.

Okposo Breaks Slump, Trounces Rangers

Islanders 3: Rangers 2 (OT)

Considering the 2-0 lead the Islanders had going into the third period of the game last night against the Rangers, you would think that the win would have been an easy one. How many times I've typed that sentence regarding an Isles game, I've lost count of. But this is our lot in life when we're fans of easily one of the most topsy-turvy teams in the league.

At any rate, the Rangers turned on in the third and scored two goals to pull themselves even with their cross-town rivals, but it was recently-struggling right wing Kyle Okposo who finally broke his slump and had a hand in each of the Isles' goals, including his own game-winner in OT.

Frans Nielsen struck first for the Islanders, as Josh Bailey recovered nicely from a missed breakaway opportunity and passed Okposo the puck. Nielsen went to the net and received a pretty behind-the-back pass from Kyle, shot, and got past Lundqvist for the tally. That was perhaps the only real highlight in a dull first period that only saw five shots for each team.

The second period commenced, and at 14:21 the penalty kill for the Isles- which had struggled as of late- woke up and not only killed the penalty, but scored a shorthanded goal. Once again, Okposo got the assist with a play in which he escaped a hit from one Ranger (Michael Del Zotto), stayed balanced on one skate, kept going and passed to a streaking Blake Comeau while absorbing another hit. Comeau finished the play and scored his first career shorthanded goal. That great play compensated for the glaring lack of cohesion on the power play.

In the third period, however, the Isles started to get a bit sloppy, losing a good amount of faceoffs and allowing the Rangers to get more time in their zone. It was here that Dwayne Roloson was sharp, saving everything until 6:07 of the third, where Brandon Dubinsky was able to get to the front of the net and beat his left pad as Comeau was entering the play from the penalty box. Then, late in the third, a bad too many men call on the Isles led to the second goal being scored by Dubinsky once more. Penalties definitely hurt the Isles in this period, and they allowed the Rangers (and their boisterous home crowd) back into the game in a huge way.

However, Okposo wasn't done yet. There was a focus to his game that was hugely visible, almost palpable, and it showed in his two assists and constant presence whenever he was on the ice. He nearly scored at least once in regulation, and definitely did score in overtime for the Isles- finally!- after going almost 20 games without a goal. He received a pass from Frans Nielsen along the Rangers' blue line and fired a shot that deflected off of defenseman Marc Staal, then the post and past Lundqvist. I couldn't imagine a guy who deserves it more, after working so hard and being frustrated so constantly by missed shots, posts and great saves by opposing goalies. Now, though, with some hard work (and a bit of luck), it all paid off. He got the first star of the game for an overall excellent performance.

The Isles have no time to relish this win, however, as they face off against the Flyers this evening at 5 p.m. back at the Coliseum. No matter where the Flyers are in the standings, somehow they always manage to find their legs and the win against the Isles, so our boys will have to stay focused and not get suckered into bad situations. No telling who will be in net- I imagine Rollie might get the night off (he's started three straight already), but who knows.


Notes: Timmy's back! Tim Jackman returned to the lineup after being sidelined with a hip injury, and Jon Sim was moved up to the third line to make room for him on the fourth line, while Jesse Joensuu returned to Bridgeport... the Isles are now 3-1-0 against the Rangers this season... Roloson made 36 saves, as the Rangers outshot the Isles 38-22.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Isles Hold Off Leafs, Snap Losing Streak

Maple Leafs 1: Islanders 3

Well... the Isles won!

That's one thing Islanders fans have to cheer them up if they wake up this morning and find themselves stressed, depressed or distressed; after losing four straight, three at home, this should bring a bit of happiness during this holiday season.

Though it took the Isles a while to break open the scoring, they executed wonderful defensive play (particularly Andy Sutton) and were able to hold off the Maple Leafs, 2-1, thanks to Sutton's and other players' shot blocks and some key late saves by Dwayne Roloson. The forwards in this game- Matt Moulson and Blake Comeau, to name a few- also did well on D, as well as getting some good chances on net that were just not enough to get past Jonas Gustavsson. However, they stayed calm, stayed disciplined for the most part, and finally got the payoff they were looking for.

At the end of the first period, Butch Goring mentioned that he saw the team working quite hard out there; however, he could tell they were struggling with some fatigue and dragging as they got off the ice. No doubt this win was welcome, as will be the break that follows until Saturday.

Nevertheless, many of the guys went all out and provided some great play for the Islanders. Both goals were scored in the second period; first, Trent Hunter pulled off a nice toe drag and beat Gustavsson on the far side to put the Isles up 1-0. Then, after a non-goal by the Leafs was deemed so (a Leaf batted the puck in with an obvious high stick) Blake Comeau dragged Gustavsson out of position, leaving the net open for Tavares to put it away. The Isles did a great job over two periods minimizing the Leafs' chances and especially taking away the impact of both Phil Kessel and Jason Blake. They allowed only 13 shots by the Leafs over the first 40 minutes of play.

The third period, however, wasn't the same. Niklas Hagman put the Leafs on the board within the first three minutes, and all of a sudden the Leafs were the ones dominating play and making the Isles scramble to keep up. At one point they were outshooting the Isles 10-2; but players such as Sutton, Nate Thompson (who was fortunate to still be playing- I'll tell you why later) and of course Roloson stepped up and staved them off. Rollie had an incredible save late in the third, after Alexei Ponikarovsky missed a wide-open net and another Leaf tried to keep the play alive. Then, in a weird series of events and with Gustavsson on the bench for an extra skater, Blake Comeau charged toward the open net for a goal and was taken down, hurtling into the net himself. The rule is that if there are grounds for a penalty shot, but there is no goalie in net, a goal is immediately awarded. That is probably the easiest goal Comeau will ever get, and that made it 3-1.

This was a well-played game defensively, and though the Isles allowed a goal and bent ever so slightly, they didn't lose their heads completely. Full marks to Sutton for a brilliant defensive performance; it's a shame he didn't get a star for the night because he was just that good, and has been all month. Comeau also had an excellent game; he's been playing very well as of late, and in my opinion might become a great defensive forward. There are still some things that could be changed, such as the power play (I'm sure everyone knows Mark Streit's going to be carrying the puck up the ice by now; change it up, why not put a guy like Jack Hillen up there, he's a good puck-moving D) but overall, considering the level of fatigue that these guys are no doubt experiencing, this was a game well-played. Next game will be on Saturday night against the Rangers- the Isles' third meeting with them this month, and already their fourth of six this season.


Notes: The Isles outshot Toronto 27-22... Nate Thompson very nearly had his eye cut out in the second period, as he barreled over Mike Komisarek along the boards. Komisarek's right skate nicked him on the cheekbone just under his left eye; Nate did return, however, and played a good game... Jeff Tambellini and Freddy Meyer remained healthy scratches.

P.S. Christine and I would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas!!! Enjoy, and be safe!!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Speak of the Devil!

Here's the situation: Christine and I are on the phone. Christine has been talking for the past five minutes, it seems, about captain Doug Weight being MIA for the past month or so with his shoulder injury, and I'm here wondering myself where he's been, when...

Holy Moly! Chris Botta tweets about Doug Weight wanting to come back to the Isles and do whatever he can to contribute. Freaky, much?

Here's the link:


It's gotta be some kinda psychic vibes Christine is giving off or something...

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Isles Lose Two Straight At Home: Some Things to Ponder

Rangers 5: Islanders 2
Canadiens 3: Islanders 0

Yep, in the span of two games the Islanders have only mustered two goals. Some may argue that it isn't for lack of trying and just for lack of opportunities, but at least in the Habs game, I can argue that it was for lack of concentration.

It really is something that these guys have allowed five PP goals these past two games. One of the guys who's been taking an awful lot of penalties lately, surprisingly, is Mark Streit, and thanks to him Ryan Callahan scored one of his two PP goals, and Andrei Markov one of his as well. I wasn't able to see the entire Isles-Rangers game, but I saw plenty of the Habs game, and all I can say is perhaps it would be best for Scott Gordon to scratch the defenseman for a couple of games. He's still got plenty of ice time, but it's become evident that he, as well as plenty of Isles players, is slowly getting burnt out and needs some rest, among other things. Yes, Gordon trusts him and all, but even the best of players needs some time to sit back and watch things for a bit, and I think Streit's time has come.

But it's so much more than that. Everyone in general has to stop taking penalties; passes need to be crisper, people need to stop shooting right at the goalie and making them look much better than they are (because yes, Jaroslav Halak is a very good goalie, but shooting right to the jersey adds unnecessary saves to his total, don't you think, Josh Bailey and Nate Thompson?), and overall the team just needs to find something to get them going again. I don't think that you can blame it so much on "bad bounces" as much as just not executing a play well enough, or trying to do so much you end up doing nothing at all.

And did I mention the fans? Not ours, but theirs- Rangers and Canadiens fans once again taking over our building and making it theirs. There's nothing quite as embarrassing or angering to me as something like that happening, and if not in number, certainly in voice, opposing fans always seem to drown us out. I understand it sucks that we're struggling right now, and the snowstorm last night probably drove many away from going to Nassau Coliseum. However, this has been the norm for quite a while, and I'm kind of getting sick of it. It doesn't matter to many teams' fans whether their boys win or lose- they show up to support, regardless. You could make the argument that some of those teams are in areas where hockey's much more popular, and maybe it is... but still, consider that a full house could perhaps give our boys the confidence they need. If Habs fans can make it through the snow and over hundreds of miles to cheer their team on, then we certainly can as well. Enough of the excuse, "Well, they're crazy," and try to make the effort. Not saying everyone's at fault here, but... come on, guys.

Anyway... there isn't much of a focus in this post, and perhaps it's better that way. There isn't one thing that the Isles can really focus on in terms of their play, either- it's a mix of too many penalties, missed opportunities, and some vets who could use a sitting. Overall, not looking too good on the Island.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Islanders Disturb Ranger's Naptime

Islanders 2 : Rangers 1

On paper it appeared to be an even match up last night, on ice though a different story. The Islanders showed up to play, the Rangers looked like someone disturbed their nap, Ranger fans sounded like they were taking a nap, and in the post game interview, Ranger coach John Tortorella sounded like a truck driver…bleepity bleep bleep bleep.

The first of the Isle’s two goals was scored by Jon Sim or more accurately, Jon Sim’s shin @14:25 in the 1st period. Jack Hillen picked up the puck and took it behind Henrik Lundqvist while being chased by Ranger forward Christopher Higgins. Higgins chose to give up the chase and headed for the front of the net which left Hillen open (no one picked him up on the other side) for a backhand that bounced off of Sim’s shin and passed Lundqvist. Isles fans seemed to agree on Twitter- ‘lucky but we’ll take it’. As nice as Sim scoring was the decent number of Isles fans seen jumping up to celebrate in the seats behind Lundqvist. By the end of the 1st period, the Isles had outshot the Rangers 10-3 and in general the Rangers looked like they were going to lose IF the Isles could keep their energy at an even keel like they had in this period.

What Islander/Ranger game would be complete without the antics of Sean ‘if you can’t beat them, annoy them’ Avery?  Hillen gave him some attention resulting in both of them serving two minutes for roughing 27 seconds into the 2nd period. A few minutes later came a couple of scoring chances for both teams followed by a pile up involving Dwayne Roloson and Avery. Seems Avery got too close to Roloson who reacted by whacking Avery’s left leg, from my view Roloson’s reaction looked like a fight or flight reaction – a reflex. Avery then pushed Roloson to the ice and had to be pulled off of him by the ref. After watching the replay a few times with my Nephew TJ who plays goalie (whoo hoo!), it is clear that Roloson made a glove save high up on left yet even though Avery could see the play was dead, rather than retract his stick, he made contact on Roloson, jabbing his stick into Roloson’s left knee. It’s one thing to dig into a goalie’s space with the excuse of ‘just doing my job’ but it’s another to push a goalie down when he is at a considerable disadvantage in many ways due to the weight and bulk of goalie gear. I think it’s one of the lowest things a player can do on ice, to any goalie. 

Despite Avery clearly being a tool, the Rangers wound up on the power play – Matt Moulson and Jon Sim serving two minutes for Roloson for slashing and roughing and Avery serving two minutes for roughing. At this point it was wait and see if Isles were going to allow Avery’s toolness to shake em’ up or shake Avery off like the flea he is. Thank you fellas for going with the latter…the Isles killed the penalty and continued to play at an even keel for the rest of this scoreless period and throughout the 3rd where Blake ‘no scratch for you’ Comeau scored his second goal of the season with about 3 minutes left to go in the game, a rebound off Moulson’s slapshot, a gift from Lundqvist’s pads to Comeau. The Isles almost left MSG with a shutout had it not been for a puck getting through between Roloson’s pads, then tipped in by Enver Lisin with only 55 seconds left to go in the game.

Overall the Islanders did so much right in this game, one that I consider to be their best played so far. Early on the Isle’s lackluster passing game was put to the test due to the Rangers playing loose, leaving pockets of ice for the Isles to utilize, which they did…and at times did REALLY well. Even though those efforts did not yield more goals scored…we’ll take it. 

In about an hour the Islanders host the Rangers for part two of this home-on-home gig. No doubt the Rangers are going to be raring to go this time around so it’s up to the Isles to maintain a lot of last night’s effort and effectively channel the extra ‘kick’ of energy felt on home ice against this team. Can the Isles do it? Sure they can.

Even keel grasshoppers. 


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Flyers, Leafs, Bruins and Panthers Oh My!

Last week I listed three potential outcomes for the Islanders when they played in Philadelphia Tuesday night. The Isles chose option two -

2. Get sucked into Flyers drama, lose the game and potentially someone gets hurt. 

Islanders 2 : Flyers 6

Isles quickly got sucked into Flyers drama, they L-O-S-T and Tim Jackman left the game in the 1st period with a boo-boo and did not return. So my thought is now that if I keep going to Isles games in Philly sooner or later they will win at the Wachovia…or not. It is amazing how regressed the Isles look when playing Philly. A win for Biron would have been nice being back at his old stomping grounds for the first time since leaving Philly but he looked out of it most of the game, culminating in the 3rd period when he was knocked down during a gloves off pile up where Flyers defenseman Matt Carle landed on Biron. Where do you go from there? The club box bar or home I guess…beer it was since the only superstition I have about watching the Isles (since being a kid) is leaving the game before it’s over. 

The Isles did rally in the second period. John Tavares scored two power play goals and as an added bonus said goodbye to part of a tooth, wonder if the tooth fairy gives partial payment. Kyle Okposo busted quite a few moves this game, he just never let up which made other Isles look “lazy” as one Flyers fan put it. Why Blake Comeau was not in this game, against this team is beyond me. But that’s why I’m the fan and Scott Gordon is the coach.

Islanders 2 : Leafs 3

Didn’t get to see the Isles in Toronto but seemed to mirror some aspects of the Flyers game, coming back from behind with two goals from Tavares, except the gap in score was smaller in Toronto, 2-0 before Tavares’s goals compared to 4-0 in Philly. On a side note, don’t know if I’ve ever witnessed a scoring pattern like Philly had, Mike Richards with two in the 1st period, Jeff Carter with two in the 2nd, and Claude Giroux with two in the 3rd. Freaky deaky. 

Bruins 2 : Islanders 3 (OT)

Then came a big win against Boston which Angie has recapped, a fine recap at that, so I’ll just add some notes. Howie Rose stated this was Blake Comeau’s best game this season and it appears many Isles fans agree. Isles fan comments also seemed to relay that this was a team win, as Angie pointed out – who didn’t play well? Although I was thrilled to see the Isles prevail against a solid opponent, something about the way goals were celebrated by some players, including the pile-on when Frans Nielsen scored in OT for the win was bittersweet. On one hand it was great to see what looked like shear infectious joy and on the other I thought to myself…dudes it’s not the playoffs, it’s one game of many, with many more to go. Reactions like these are always hard to put in writing so I’ll sum it up this way – I love this team, always will but let’s not look like the Bad News Bears of hockey and hockey fandom. And yes Howie, Billy and d’lovely Angie…the team is ‘young’ – I get it…learning curve and all. Last note - saw the post game interview with Bruin’s coach Claude Julien where he made a few references to Dwayne Roloson keeping the Isles in the game…er…what game were you watching? Come on coach, give credit where credit is due – the T-E-A-M d’Isles outplayed your team. 

And then there’s Maude…

For those who are not from in and around my generation – and then there’s the Panthers game.

Panthers 7 : Islanders 1

O to the U to the C to the H. The return of Andy Sutton didn’t seem to make a dent and as it was with the team win vs. Boston, this was a team loss, so much seemed to go wrong for individual players and the team as a unit. Beyond that, Roloson looked as exposed this game as Biron did in Philly on Tuesday. The play-by-play wasn’t pretty as you probably saw or read by now and bleh that the Isles have to head into a home ice exchange with the Rangers so soon after. Since this NY rivalry is as much a mental one as it is physical, let’s see if the Isles can do what Mark Streit suggested in an interview after the game, “…Every player needs to do some soul searching and go home and think about what happened” (1). Along with that I’d like to add ‘go home and get some rest’ which will be the topic of a blogpost follow up to this one regarding what I think is the Isle’s biggest challenge, the ability to rest and rejuvenate between games. Athletes, especially hockey players, must either know how or learn how…and that’s ‘must’ as in, if they want to.

And with that I should take my own advice at 4:30am, exhausted and one too many Swedish Fish eaten. Goodnight.


(1) quote from www.nhl.com

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

DiPietro Statement Released... And Wouldn't You Know It, Bad News (of sorts)

Embattled Islanders goaltender Rick DiPietro released a statement shortly after missing the final game of his rehab stint in Bridgeport with soreness.


The link here can tell you more. Honestly, Islanders fans should figure as much by now... unfortunately this has gotten to the point where you just have to sympathize. No doubt he's itching to play, but judging by the current state of things, I wouldn't call it right to say he'll be back on the ice for the Islanders anytime soon.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Nielsen Nets One In OT

Bruins 2: Islanders 3

I'd almost forgotten what Nassau Coliseum looks like on TV when I turned on MSG Plus last night. Indeed, the Islanders had played only 3 of their last 17 games on home ice, so the sight of Long Island was no doubt a welcome one for them, as well as for their fans.

The road hasn't exactly been kind to them, even when you consider their faceoff percentages. But little of that mattered last night, as they took on the Boston Bruins in a tightly-played, quite entertaining game that ended with Frans Nielsen's beautiful OT game-winner.

But the best place to start is at the beginning, so that's where we'll go. At 3:58 of the first period, after good chances on both sides, Rob Schremp broke the scoring open with his first NHL goal, on the power play. Matt Moulson was at the front of the net and deflected a shot Kyle Okposo took. While Bruins goalie Tim Thomas had his hands full and lost the puck, Schremp was able to bank it off of him and into the back of the net. Gotta love the effort- and the celebration, as he pumped his fist emphatically and leaped into Mark Streit's arms afterward.

The lead didn't last till the first intermission, however, as Michael Ryder fired a nice high shot right over the glove of Dwayne Roloson to tie it at 1. Both teams played a great game on both sides of the puck, creating chances as well as taking the other team's away. Both goaltenders- Roloson and Thomas- were quite good also.

The Bruins had a goal disallowed late in the first that would have given them a 2-1 lead earlier, as the referees ruled that Marco Sturm had hit the puck into the net while his stick was well above the crossbar. The Bruins took the lead anyway in the second period, on David Krejci's fifth goal of the year. The puck had bounced badly over Blake Comeau's stick as the Isles attempted to clear, and the Bruins jumped on the opportunity. Vladimir Sobotka passed it to Ryder in front, who got it over to Krejci for the goal.

With about five minutes to go in the period, Matt Moulson tied it up once more. It started with a great play by Kyle Okposo on the wall. He saw John Tavares behind the net and passed to him with a man on, and Tavares caught Moulson in front of the net. Moulson was then able to get just enough on the puck to lift it over Thomas and into the net.

In the third period, the Bruins were oh-so-close to running away with the game, were it not for-once again- the play of Roloson. He made 17 saves as the Isles were drastically outshot and ended up taking some penalties as well, and was perhaps the best player on the ice in that time frame. Bailed out by his saves, all the Isles had to do was score one goal, and Tavares almost did- but at the last second, Dennis Wideman made a desperate (and awesome, gotta admit) leg save to help out Thomas and force the game to OT.

However, we can't overlook the great play of everyone involved, particularly the two-way play of one Blake Comeau. Last night was a coming-out of sorts for him- he had some great hits and some great plays to force the puck the other way. The biggest one of all was in overtime. Boston turned over the puck in the Isles zone, he got ahold of it and sprung Frans Nielsen on a breakaway. As Thomas sprawled out in his crease, Nielsen lifted the puck over him and went down into the boards as he scored, thankfully unhurt and joyous. The three on the ice with him leaped onto him and celebrated a great win for the Isles.

Just to clarify, I did call an OT win, though I thought it would be 4-3. The Bruins fan I was watching it with said 5-3 Boston. Typical Boston fan- arrogantly assuming his team would dominate. :) It was a fun game to watch, though, and one where everyone played their game and brought all they had to the table. Honestly, I don't think there was one player would had an off game, and that is a wonderful thing. Let's hope that continues!


Notes: Jack Hillen went down in the first period with an ankle/foot injury after taking a hard shot there... he attempted to come back later on in the game, but ultimately went back to the locker room for the night... in his place, Mark Streit logged around 29 minutes of ice time, sheesh... Okposo had two assists on the night... Michael Ryder, Rob Schremp and Nielsen were the three stars of last night's game.

Friday, December 11, 2009

What's Wrong With These Pictures?

I'm pre-empting the Isles-Leafs recap to comment upon the alarming photo spread of Alexander Ovechkin in Men's Journal. Now, I understand that this is a men's magazine and all, but this is beyond absurd.


Here's the link to his interview and some pictures of him and, as the magazine puts it, "the season's best... um, accessories." Hmm, what does that mean? you wonder, and then you see what the author means when you click on the first picture.

Enter the single most obnoxious and offensive... object (pardon my language, but that's exactly what she's being treated as)... in the spread. That is a very lithe, attractive blonde who happens to be naked in three of the shots, including the first two where the only thing she's wearing are some strategically placed soap bubbles, as she preens for Ovechkin in the bathtub. The third shows her pressed against him, (thankfully) wearing clothes, although not many- practically just glorified underwear- and a vacant, not-looking-at-the-camera-well-kind-of expression complete with hair over her face to appear sultry. The next two aren't that harmful (though who on Earth plays air hockey in suit, little red dress and heels? Jeans and sweatshirts, please!), but the last two unnerve and, quite frankly, piss me off: Alex sitting on the edge of the bed, something in his hand (phone? Wallet?). And the woman in bed, biting her finger suggestively while she attempts to cover her naked body with the comforter. The next picture depicts her naked once more save for his jersey.

What's wrong with this picture? Hmm, I don't know, maybe EVERYTHING?

I'm not trying to force you to think the same. I'm only saying that this is the epitome of everything I despise- the typical macho hockey player, assuming a position of power and masculinity (wonder why he's fully clothed in all the pictures save for his shoes?), while a woman is there for not much more than to entertain him and to gratify him sexually. You would think that we weren't in the twenty-first century, judging by the magazine's apparent indifference to it all. And why on Earth would anyone want to think that there was such thing as "feminism" or "gender equality"? Why, when women provide us with such pretty toys to play with?

I can't even begin to tell you how disappointed and angry I am right now. Shame on everyone involved here for perpetuating the incorrect assumption that women are only to be used as sexual objects. This spread would have been enjoyable were it not for the blatant misogyny depicted- the Q&A, which I got to once I was able to calm my fury at the photos, was quite entertaining. But cutesy words don't take away the sting of watching a fellow woman be used like this. I expected better... but perhaps I shouldn't have.

P.S. This is off-topic, but a very happy birthday to Isles D Mark Streit! He was born Dec. 11, 1977. :)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

2 Hours Until Isles @ Flyers

It's been a check the clock a lot day here in South Jersey. I'm taking my sister to the Isles game tonight for her birthday. She called me this morning  - "what time do you want to leave?""no later than 5:30 I guess""you have your hat?", "I bought a sweatshirt for you", "I'll probably wear either the hat or the sweatshirt","why wouldn't you wear both?","sometimes I don't like wearing a hat".

Alrighty then. Well wait, not yet...I drove home to NYC last night just to get my Islander hat - about 1 hr & 40 minutes each way. Ok now...

Alrighty then. 

This ain't no ordinary game - it's post John Stevens being fired game, it's Flyers getting spanked 8-2 game...it's so much more than those two things, so much more. Like the Eagles, the Flyers are uber desperate to win a championship, how dare those Phillies!  Boo hoo. Flyers made the playoffs last season, lost to a team that was better than them and the org's response to that was to pick apart a close knit team? (actually Upshall's teary exit was before the playoffs) a team their fan base was totally behind? I was at the game they lost the series to vs. Pens, Flyers fans actually clapped and cheered their team after the horn sounded, and meant it. Wowee. So a team that needed to step up a few levels to advance has been taken down a few pegs by its own management. More levels to climb now regardless of who the coach is. Hey don't get me wrong, this is all good news to me. The team needed a new "voice"? said the GM quite a few times a I recall. Wha? Should have hired Hillary Clinton who found her voice, I believe in New Hampshire. Wonder how long it took Upshall's rep to call Philly? 'Can Scottie with an 'ie' come home now?'

All I know is this is my kind of ice hockey - psychological drama drama drama. Yummy!! 

Ok so it's reported Brendan Witt got hit by SUV in Philly today - seems he's ok and will play tonight. Energetic translation? That was a warning.  Individually Mr. Witt might want to watch it with blocking shots tonight. Team-wise Islanders have two choices as I see it -

1. Stick with their game, slice through energy and get the hell out of Philly, Sage the bus.

2. Get sucked into Flyers drama, lose the game and potentially someone gets hurt.

and for whatever reason a 3rd scenario just came to mind

3. The mood will be mellow at the Wachovia...apathy in the air. Uneventful game, one team wins, one team loses and both teams move on.

Biron better be in net tonight. That would be good strateegery.

John Stevens being fired before Winter Classic. That has got to suckith bigtime.

The four police officers slain in Washington are being laid to rest today and the news breaks to an update on the condition of Tiger Wood's mother-in-law. Yay humans! 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DONNA! Go with the hat. I'll bring the Sage.  : )


Preview: Isles @ Flyers, 7 p.m. 12/8/09, Wachovia Center

Haven't done one of these in a while, but I figured since Versus is conveniently not aired on my dorm room cable it would be good to at least give you this.

Well, well, well, it looks as though there's a storyline even before the morning skate. Brendan Witt was hit by a car this morning on his way to get his morning Starbucks, as reported by Newsday Isles beat writer Katie Strang. As a crowd gathered, he got up, dusted himself off and said he was okay, and was at the rink practicing only a few hours later. Now THAT, ladies and gentlemen, is toughness.

On to tonight's matchup against Philadelphia. The Flyers are in a slump of their own, but for some reason can always manage to break that losing streak against our Isles. That will not be the case tonight, the hockey gods willing, but it's up to the Islanders to stay focused and on their game. I see them take the bait and get into fights too often with these neo-Broad Street Bullies, and after that they end up losing it completely. The key to tonight's game: Don't do the same thing again. Focus on getting to the front of the net and getting a garbage goal or two. Some players to keep your eye on: Witt (let's see if he's really okay) and Kyle Okposo, who's been dying to score one but hasn't yet had the bounces go his way. Also, we'll see who's in net tonight. Something tells me it may be Marty Biron. Who knows, though?


Friday, December 4, 2009

Who Knew Text Could Make My Night

Flyer fan Ashley: Dude! We have ur old coach now! Crazy!

Christine: Wha??? Nolan?

Flyer fan Ashley: No, Laviolette. 

Christine: hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
Christine: watch Stevens pull a Guerin and win a cup!

Flyer fan Ashley: : (

Christine:  : )

Flyers Fire John Stevens

Now there's a shocker...well not really. 

"Biron was a good goalie, he just couldn't take us to the next level" touted Flyers fans...now Stevens...I'm sure the same thing will be said for him as well. Guess the imbalanced O to D and other hindering team stuff is like the ketchup bottle in the fridge that you can't seem to find, right in front of yer' face but overlooked.

I'll be at the game on Tuesday...toughening up of skin has commenced.


It's a Hatty for Matty as Isles Trounce Thrashers

Islanders 4: Thrashers 1

I almost wish that John Tavares hadn't scored the empty-netter so I could say "Matt Moulson 3: Thrashers 1", but we'll just go with this.

Yes, it WAS a natural hat trick for Moulson. Although the Thrashers scored first (and they hadn't lost a game after scoring first all this season), the Isles were able to bounce back and hold momentum, mainly on the shoulders of the left wing who has taken the Island by storm.

Slava Kozlov was the only goalscorer for the Thrashers, who fell flat shortly after Moulson scored his first to tie it up. Dwayne Roloson saw the rubber quite a bit and made some good saves, but the play mostly went back and forth without a lot of promise until #26 got going. Not much else went on, to be completely honest with you- I could take you through each Moulson goal, but after reading the Isles website and going on YouTube and all, it could get a little repetitive. So I'll just tell you this: Moulson, in my honest opinion, is exactly what the Isles need. He's a grinder with talent, a hard worker who finishes his chances much of the time, and the perfect complement to a guy like John Tavares, apparently, since their tandem has been wildly successful for much of the season to date. I've already spoken volumes about him in other posts, so I'll wrap up by saying "Congratulations!" to Matt for the hat trick, and may many more be scored.