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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.

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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Fights, Gestures and A Return to Rivalry, Oh My!

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...


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