Another statement game for the New York Islanders, one that maybe this coach does deserve to return.
The words that come out of that room often about how much they play for one another was again backed by action, despite some very weak games for the last few weeks, even when winning.
Two years ago, the New York Islanders played a similar game in such circumstances against the Rangers, at the time I wrote I would like to see this game a few years from now when the prospects and players developing here were a few years older.
Obviously how the Islanders went into this game was not how I envisioned it, but the score/effort sure says something very positive about the core group of this team because decimated by injuries, playing with tons of adversity and so many players out. Bottom line they simply outworked a desperate club that has been very streaky with their offense, but dangerous when it's producing, that employs it's trap well.
The Islanders had a Devil-Ranger consecutive set of games a few weeks ago (with days off between difference) both those teams trap heavily at times, but tonight the Islanders started well and were put on the defensive by some questionable officiating, which gave the Rangers every chance to take over the game on PP and go into their trap.
At the end the officials handled things correctly giving out ten minute misconducts to clear ice.
Despite losing Nielsen, more injury and another game of attrition, they stuck together and found a way to not only win but break the game open.
As for Nielsen, I did not see Gaborik jump into him, use his hands/stick to head or elbow. He made hard-shoulder contact and got a fair boarding call, I do not see a suspension there even if it is reviewed.
Still want to say goodbye to Radek Martinek? Not me, his defense when on his game is as good as anyone not named Kenny Jonsson, nice to see the offensive side tonight.
Frankly the Islanders could have had ten goals tonight, the chances that beat Lundqvist before he was sent packing down 4-1 were quality chances, the extra step was there tonight and the inexperienced defense somehow did the job short-handed.
Having written that, yes folks, it's time the goaltending police measure Lundqvist equipment or make some real changes because he's getting more overstuffed every year, and wearing longest pads.
I don't care how he played.
Every time I see Mark Katic play I come away more impressed, when Hillen's skating like that I want to see more and that was one nice hit. Moulson-Parenteau were due and Tavares needed a big game and delivered.
High marks to Montoya, he made the big saves and did it after a long break between games. This was something that had me concerned tonight. DiPietro gave him a huge hug afterward on ice after win.
Gee, Trevor Gillies can throw hits and score goals, that's his second career goal this season for those wondering.
Fights are fights, Haley put a nice beating on Avery which likely had everyone on both teams cheering with Tortorella. Avery went after Hamonic first and then decided on Haley and immediately looked like he made a mistake.
If Wishart/other defenders out Saturday, not sure where next NHL contracted defender will be coming from because all of them are here or injured. One of those day to day injuries on the backline may have to play or someone has to be signed or coming back for Bridgeport.
Overall any of the teams still in realistic contention can make the playoffs and come out of the Eastern Conference and win the Stanley Cup, the New York Islanders will not be one of them in 2010-11.
Seacoastonline: Reports Islander prospect Blake Kessel may be leaving school early to sign with the Islanders.
Good to see Howie Rose is where he particularly cares to be, hopefully the Islanders demand he stays there after this season, of course the Dolan's would likely then give the Islanders Kenny Albert because that would save Msg money.
Congratulations to Michael Grabner who goes into the books as a plus one today but not on the ice here who shared with the fans the happy news.
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