After the game in Pittsburgh, I was very unhappy with the hits the New York took without response, tonight was about payback. You can bet it was for DiPietro, Comeau, the recent hits on Tavares.
This was about all those words about being a close knit team having some meaning when it was time to take a stand and send a message.
Considering this franchises remarkable history, all time records for New York Islander penalties, it could have just as easily been an all-time record for New York Islander goals, if they wanted to play it that way.
The core of the New York Islanders grew up a little bit tonight, they got a look at what they will have to do long-term to be a winning team to win critical games.
They got the first, last and every laugh in-between tonight.
They had to over come Colin Campbell's officials, who gave the Penguins a ton of powerplays, which was the only way they were going to beat Koskinen, outstanding in net again. Sure Matt Martin/Trevor Gillies deserved five minutes, Eric Godard, who got in the middle of Haley/Johnson, should have negated most of it, but it didn't.
I don't think I have ever seen anyone put into the penalty box after a segment of a play continued, new standards of poor officiating.
New York knocked Johnson all over the building tonight and onto Hempstead Turnpike once or twice for good measure. They had the Pens reeling all night at even strength, and like I wrote before it just as easily could have been close to fifteen goals if the Islanders wanted to keep things only to the scoreboard. Grabner's missed penalty shot, the five on two with broken sticks, the Islanders did not even hit close to all their quality opportunities.
20-20-20 Will not get a lot of notice, but consider one thing. Two years ago the only twenty goal player was Bill Guerin, on a team with even more man games lost than this one.
Enjoy this one New York Islander Fans, our team sent you a message tonight, that all these words about what they are about is something to believe in.
Bailey, Gordie Howe-Hat-trick Hamonic, every player bought in. Gervais with his block down the stretch, Haley, who came up and looked like an enforcer, added a beauty for his first career goal.
Bailey put his man down with a punch. Hamonic looked like he was on his way to a five point game, that setup to Parenteau, he was locked in.
The supporting cast will change, but the core grew up tonight.
That's what it will take in long-term.
Remember this night when this team finally turns the corner, the core players will.
Now comes the fallout from Colin Campbell. You can bet Gillies, Martin will likely see a suspension longer than Matt Cooke.
No Mr Rose, no one cared about Nabokov tonight, he does not play for the Penguins, he seemed mighty annoyed he had to stick around an extra hour, and talked over countless good plays.
For those scoring at home. Staal threw a sucker-punch on 2/1 that merited a five minute penalty, automatic ejection and supposed 24 hours off here.
Staal received no suspension, and was allowed to play the New York Islanders within 24 hours. How does anything Martin or Gillies do, not mandate the exact same standard if this is the precedent Campbell set by not suspending Staal?
Don't worry folks, the Tomas Pock rules of suspending New York Islanders are the double-standard for this one.
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