Thrashers 5: Islanders 6 (SO)
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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.
Sunday, January 3, 2010
So, all in all, one thing hasn't changed so far from 2009 to 2010- the Islanders' fantastic ability to induce heart attacks in their fans.
Somehow, the Thrashers always seem to push a game with us to overtime, and that was the case here. After coughing up a 3-0 lead and then a 5-3 one, the Islanders finally managed to dispose of them in the shootout, 6-5, on the goals of Jeff Tambellini and Frans Nielsen. Still, there never should have been need for a shootout in the first place.
This was yet another game that started out well for the Isles and then turned into one that the coaches no doubt were happy to see the end of. Dwayne Roloson was certainly not at his sharpest, with five goals allowed on 27 shots; then again, defense in general left much to be desired. Once again, I must call attention to one Mark Streit, who gave away the puck quite a few times last night, particularly on the power play. Scott Gordon has to change it up sometime, especially after that horrid excuse for a man-advantage in OT (the best chance for the Isles to put it away and avoid the shootout), and find someone other than Mark to quarterback the power play. I'm sure Jack Hillen, who's proven he has potential as an offensive defenseman, would be an okay choice to try out the PP, even if only for a couple of games. Something has to change, though, because even with captain Doug Weight back in the lineup, the PP looked anything but powerful against Atlanta.
As for the offense, it did very well, and it was heartening to see guys who haven't scored in a while- Josh Bailey, Trent Hunter and Richard Park, as well as Jon Sim and Matt Moulson- get the puck into the net. Aside from the atrocious power plays, the forecheck really tested the Thrashers D (which isn't known for aggression, granted) and did a good job with their passes, for the most part.
The officiating, however, was terrible. Honestly, the tying goal by Ilya Kovalchuk in the third period was on an easily debatable interference call on Jeff Tambellini. Not only that, but there were non-calls on both sides, leading me to wonder whether the refs secretly wanted a shootout or not... sheesh.
Still, a win's a win, and the Isles will definitely take this one. They face off next against Colorado on Wednesday, the 6th, on the first game of their Western Conference road trip.
LET'S GO ISLANDERS!
Notes: The Isles are now 3-0 over the Thrashers in the 4-game season series... Rob Schremp, though he missed his chance in the shootout, was a perfect 6-6 in face-offs... Tim Jackman will miss a month with a broken orbital bone, shortly after returning to the lineup from a hip injury. That leaves us hard-pressed to find an enforcer within the lineup.