Heck of an effort and win Saturday night by New York, worth a blog entry because a lot happened.
Tavares could have had five and the Islanders could have had eight or nine if Miller was not at his best. This kids hands, move to the net are getting better and better, he looks very comfortable/confident in front of net. Miller made right play on all three goals.
Of course, even Mick Vukota can score a natural hat-trick here back in 1989 which was ironically a 5-3 New York win.
Vukota got his with about forty seconds to spare vs Tavares.
Early (aside from Grabner's speed or a Comeau miss in front, Tavares-Pareneau 2-0) the first period offense came mostly from the point, but second period the Islanders simply dominated with a level of skating and skill that was a lot of fun to watch.
That second period was a lot like the effort against Vancouver (after first) and several teams recently. Aside from Bailey, everyone was getting chances or kept moving, the Islanders overwhelmed Buffalo and put on pressure they could not stand up against.
So Jurcina get's a penalty at end of first for high-sticking Vanek who is kneeling in crease, next period a 5'5 Sabre makes contact on Milan Jurcina, draws blood but no call with all these officials on ice? Comical, because rule is you are responsible for your stick.
Rick DiPietro played very well, however his stickhandling at the end of the first led to Buffalo keeping the puck in which gave them a powerplay, then another, which led to their 1-0 goal. That may not be fair but as soon as that puck was barely kept in the Sabres got in close and forced a penalty, you could see it coming.
Either Hamonic/MacDonald spread full out to break up a 2-1 in the second which was great and led to Islanders getting a 2-1 the other way. Gervais was outstanding along with all the defenders tonight.
MacDonald has twelve points since December 18th, he is also -8 since 12/27 to go with huge minutes he is given.
Third period was too much of same script, I almost expected Capuano's time out after the first minutes. They have to keep pushing play, not sit back and let game come to them.
Grabner has been so due, his speed every game is generating chances on every shift, and that was a fantastic shot to beat Miller, and finally take off the pressure.
Buffalo was a desperate team 5-1-1 that needed a win tonight to keep pace, both teams could have scored a lot more but in this one New York was the better team.
Would it be a Buffalo-New York game without Hecht scoring? Officiating was again very questionable tonight.
Steve Montador was doing a lot of solid hitting tonight against Islander players, the Islander staff should be showing that footage in meetings.
Round one of four goes to New York, next up what seems like a Devils team that is showing signs of getting it's game back under Jacques Lemaire.
If the Islanders and Jon Sim parting was amiable, I have no problem with it. If it was not he signed a two-way contract and was obligated to see through the agreement he signed last summer when he was free to sign with any other NHL team. Bridgeport could have used his scoring on a six game slide and a veteran to help them as he has in the past.
I don't understand why his scoring was missing this year, last year he had thirteen goals and some big ones to keep the club in games. I do believe he got a fair chance this season and played hard, but without the production. Given the current standings, it made no sense to keep him up here, but without Rhett Rakhshani, Nielsen and Okposo this team could well be short a forward in a game they may not want to dress Trevor Gillies.
I'm going to miss Jon Sim, of course I wish him the best of luck in Switzerland.
Did you really expect anything but overt negativity from the Dolan's paper after a big night from Tavares and some very good play that has draw praise from opposing players around the NHL?
You think this paper is in business to hype the New York Islanders or credit DiPietro for solid play, it's not happening.
It was a hachet job, designed to be as negative as possible, surprised Baumbach did not lobby for more Al Arbour wins to be taken away.
The good news was Dolan's spin-doctors had nothing new from Wang's December interview, this article was growing stale sitting around waiting for release, so why not pick a night after a good win/Tavares hat-trick to drive away fans?
No arena in the NHL is older than Msg, which is a dump, you think Dolan's paper will ever write that or about the thousands of empty seats at Knick/Ranger games from their mediocre/poor teams?
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