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.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Islanders 3: Lightning 2 (OT)
Islanders 2: Leafs 1 (OT)
Avalanche 2: Islanders 5
I'd love to go into each of these games play by play, but there isn't enough time in the world and at this point in the week, it would all be redundant, so... here's some commentary.
First off, how great is it to be an Isles fan right now? I mean, sure, it's early, but considering the team is playing right now without two top players- Mark Streit and Kyle Okposo- and has managed to start off at the top of the Eastern Conference... you gotta admit, that's impressive. There have been some important variables involved- some lucky calls going our way, plus some spectacular goaltending- but even as players have popped in and out of the lineup, the general play of the team has stayed the same.
Of course, that doesn't mean we haven't had our injuries. Our most recent casualty has been Andrew MacDonald, who had successful hand surgery earlier in the week and will be out for a few weeks at least. That gives us another chance to watch Jack Hillen, who's been a healthy scratch for many of the games mainly because of lack of roster space. Also out day-to-day (supposedly) is Josh Bailey, who aggravated a hip flexor he sustained against Washington earlier in the month. He left the game against Toronto early in the second period, and did not play at all in the rest of that game or in Tampa Bay. Blake Comeau, who had been developing a very good tandem with Bailey up until Josh's injury, looked a bit lost against Tampa and didn't play very well as a consequence.
Still, the Isles have managed to overcome injuries and low expectations, implementing a strong forecheck, a determined defense and penalty kill, and two goalies- a healthy Rick DiPietro and an ageless Dwayne Roloson- who've wowed more than once in each game they've played. Roloson had the game of his season to date against the Leafs, with not quite the number of saves (28, as opposed to 58 last season) but certainly with the same kind of acrobatics, and so far he's simply been a rock in net. DiPietro, however, isn't staying too far behind- he started off a bit slow, but has picked up and is making some great saves out there, looking closer to the form of his All-Star season than the past two years. In the absence of Okposo and Streit, we've seen Bailey, Comeau, Matt Moulson and newcomer PA Parenteau step up and deliver points. Our power play has been touch-and-go, but we still have plenty of time to fix that. And overall, we've had some good production from our other new Isles- James Wisniewski, Milan Jurcina, and Michael Grabner in particular.
We've also been lucky. I mean, two video reviews ruling non-goals for the Leafs, and then two video reviews ruling Isles goals good goals (including the overtime winner by Moulson) against the Lightning? Those two games alone could have been drastically different if the calls had gone the other way, and I'm sure the Islanders know it. They could be looking at a record for the worse right now, instead of a 4-1-2 start (their best since 2001-02). Then again, maybe we should credit the refs and the "War Room" over in Toronto for taking the time to ensure calls are going the right way. While officiating has still had plenty of issues so far, at least good goals are goals now.
So how long will this last? Who can say for sure? I do know that right now things are going much better for the Isles than was projected before the start of the season, and we can only hope they get better from here on out.
LET'S GO ISLANDERS!!
Posted by Angelica Rodriguez at 11:50 AM
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Rangers 4: Islanders 6
It's common knowledge that when one comes upon a game between these two teams, it's bound to be a ton of fun. And so it was, even with no John Tavares in the lineup; Rick DiPietro in one net, Henrik Lundqvist in the other, both teams yapping before the puck was even dropped- and once that happened, all hell broke loose.
The first period alone saw a fight between Zenon Konopka and Brandon Prust, an incident between James Wisniewski and Sean Avery in which Wiz mimicked the act of, well, oral sex, and three goals (two from the Isles, one from the Rangers- thank Josh Bailey, Ryan Dubinsky, and Blake Comeau, in that order). It also bore witness to some hard hits, some yapping, and some sparkling saves from a remarkably healthy and calm-looking Rick DiPietro. In the second, the Rangers tied it up and then took a 3-2 lead, which was where I stopped getting updates because I left for West Seneca with a friend of mine. I started feeling dejected because I thought the game had taken a turn for the worse, until I found out around 6 p.m. that the Isles had indeed pulled out a win thanks to Moulson and Comeau (game-winner) as well as former Ranger PA Parenteau and Frans Nielsen (empty-netter). DiPietro finished with 29 saves, the Isles with two points, and youngsters Comeau and Bailey came away with the first and second stars of the game, an impressive feat for two players who've impressed from the Dallas game onward. Bailey in particular has shown some great skill and progress- he's making good, smart plays, working hard and proving to be one of the more reliable forwards on the Isles roster.
Also a great sign? DiPietro's playing well for a guy making his first season starts in quite a while. He's moving well, making great saves while still (mostly) staying in the net, and while he was a bit jumpy in the game against the Stars, he seemed to be a lot more calm and confident against his old foes. While he did allow four goals, he could have been much worse, particularly in the start of the game when he had to make 3 or 4 quick stops on an offensive flurry by the Rangers. Overall, it's obviously a work in progress, but it could be much worse.
As for Wiz... well, reports on Twitter indicate the defenseman has been suspended for two games for this against well-known slopstirrer Sean Avery. Call me crazy, but while this was a dumb move and shouldn't be allowed, the fact that he got two games while Mike Cammalleri got one for his vicious slash on Nino Niederreiter (a move that could have hurt the guy) is laughable. Two games is fine, but give Mike 3, and for God's sake take into account that vicious hits, whether by players with suspension histories or not, should be cracked down on far more than a silly, immature gesture. Wiz, you were wearing the "A" and all, and you definitely should've known better than to stoop to Avery's level, but instead of putting so much focus on this, maybe they should've decided what to do about Niklas Hjalmarsson's hit on Jason Pominville- a hit that's landed Pommers with a concussion. Just a thought.
All of that said...
LET'S GO ISLANDERS!!
Posted by Angelica Rodriguez at 2:15 PM
Saturday, October 9, 2010
Of course if it's something serious, be well...BUT if you forgot proper nutrition or fluids prior to game then your teammates should be allowed to take shots on you without your gear on...fair payback for scaring the bejesus out of them.
Sunday, October 3, 2010
Saturday, October 2, 2010
Preseason isn't over, but the Islanders face a couple of glaring holes in their lineup already as we come closer to October 9.
First down was blueliner and alternate captain Mark Streit, who was injured during the team's Orange and Blue Scrimmage on Sept. 26. He received a slight cross-check from teammate Matt Moulson and fell awkwardly hurting his left shoulder. Further evaluation revealed Streit had torn his rotator cuff and labrum, requiring surgery and putting him out of commission for, at the very least, six months. That's practically the entire season and a big blow to the Isles, who lose a PP specialist and defensive leader. Moulson posted on his Twitter account (@MMoulson) that he felt really bad about what had happened, but Streit assured him it wasn't his fault. And it's not- you never want to hurt a guy you play with (unless you really don't like him... just kidding), especially when he's a key to your team's success.
Also out of commission is Kyle Okposo, who also sustained a serious shoulder injury during a scrimmage and is out, according to the Isles, "indefinitely." The minimum length of time I've heard so far is three months, but of course that could end up being longer, which is a huge setback not only for Kyle personally, but for his linemates and the rest of the offense. For the past two seasons, Okposo's been hovering around the 20-goal mark without quite reaching it, and many believed that this would be the season he would get there, provided he stay healthy. With this injury, however, he may not be able to, and the Islanders lose a valuable source of point production.
Ironically, goaltender Rick DiPietro is said to be healthy after missing the majority of two seasons with knee problems. Hopefully this is still true at the start of the season, let alone the midpoint or further. In the interim, the Isles have signed D Mike Mottau to replace Streit in the lineup... what they do to fill Okposo's place remains to be seen.
Posted by Angelica Rodriguez at 9:01 AM