Good evening everyone, just checking in from the top of Section 201 from the Coliseum preparing to live blog from the Blog Box!
It’s been a few days since the last game and there have been a few changes:
Joel Rechlicz continues to play the role of yo-yo, bouncing up and down between Bridgeport and the Islanders. It’s unfortunate, because Rechlicz played great last year and earned the opportunity to show what he can do, I guess the coaching staff is either unimpressed or constantly second guesses their decisions to carry an enforcer because he has played a total of about four minutes in his games “played”.
Franz Nielsen is back in action, after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery after suffering an injury during the preseason. Unfortunately, Weight may not be dressing tonight because he is battling a virus – he could very well be a surprise though.
Some major line juggling has been done for the first time this season, following some comments from GM Garth Snow last week on the importance of secondary scoring. Okposo has been moved off the top line and moved down to the second and will play with Nielsen. Doug Weight was supposed to move up to play with Tavares and Moulson, but that is obviously up in the air tonight.
Jeff Tambellini is also going to be dressing this evening, he has been a healthy scratch for the last handful of games. I guess this means that Rob Shremp is going to be sitting in the press box tonight.
Roloson is your goaltender for the evening.
More after the puck drops
7:08pm Puck dropped, Islanders win the draw
7:10pm Good to see #51 back on the nice, let’s make it happen Franzie
7:11pm Surprise, Weight is back – which I kinda knew being the only healthy scratches were Gervais and Shremp
7:12pm Nielsen gets thrown out of the draw, Okposo wins it – Bergenheim throws it in front of the Isles net right to a Carolina forward. Roloson forced to make a save – C’mon Bergy.
7:17pm Tim Jackman shooting specialist? Good ole Jacko has both of the Islanders shots on goal.
7:20pm Congratulationa Ray Whitney for your 1000th NHL game!
Islanders playing a much more physical style of game and it is leading to Carolina turnovers…..
7:22pm Right after a Tavares to Weight chance, a quick line change turns into an Islanders goal. It looks like Moulson – so much for secondary scoring, even though he had other linemates due to a change.
7:24pm First Islanders power play, Yelle for holding
7:26pm Power play over, had some good chances.
Moulson confirmed as the goal scorer, unassisted – that may change.
7:30pm Witt and Walker throw down, decision – Walker. Witt had gotten a few good punches in though.
7:33pm Sutton laid down the BOOM in the Islanders end, good to see.
7:34pm Roloson makes a stop, his rebound control is great tonight.
7:34pm As I say that Roloson makes a HUGE stop through traffic, how he managed to track that puck I won’t ever figure out. That’s why I am NOT a goalie.
7:37pm Sharp angle shot finds the iron behind Rolson, that was a close one – cannot allow the Canes those type of scoring chances down low.
7:43pm Islanders will be down a man, Streit called for a very WEAK tripping call.
End of the First Period
We know what has happened after the last few first periods the Islanders have played. We have seen how dominant they can be – yet they come out in the second period and get off their game somehow and allow the visiting team to take away momentum. The Islanders MUST, without question – continue to do everything the same way they have been doing things. Great forecheck, physical play, passing, skating and of course – net presence.
It’s not really that hard to come out and repeat what you just did for twenty minutes, let’s see if the Islanders are up to that task.
It begins with killing off the remainder of the penalty to Streit.
8:03pm Islanders kill of the rest of the penalty with ease.
8:07pm Hopefully they stop this right now, but Comeau gets the gate for interference. Kill this one off and be done with the penalties.
8:10pm After a great kill, the waning seconds of the penalty kill prove fatal – Carolina scores and we are tied at 1-1
8:14pm Not sure if anyone can see at home – the Islanders are once again flat as a pancake coming out int he second period.
8:21pm Talk about secondary scoring! Tim Jackman just buried a rebound in front of the net! Islanders lead 2-1
8:23pm Two minutes later and MORE secondary scoring!! 3-1 Isles (Now under review)
8:24pm While we wait, Sutton tipped a Jack Hillen shot from the point. They are checking to see if it was too high, being he is eight feet tall. And it’s good!
8:29pm Blake Comeau wheeling and dealing along the wall, made a nice pass for a point shot and the puck hit at least three sticks along the way. Deflections are not being friendly to Cam Ward tonight, apparently the Islanders had some scouting reports…
8:34pm Another shot finds the iron behind Roloson, sometimes that is just the way it goes.
End of the Second Period
Well, THAT was completely different – eh?
The Islanders may have started out the period flat and uninspired, but they coninuted to be a physical force and got back on board with the successful game plan they executed in the first period. We saw bodies on front of Ward and shots from the point, we saw the fourth line grind it out below Carolina’s goal line and goal off a rebound by Jackman and a deflection by Sutton in a span of two minutes. The Isles lead 3-1 and the shot count is Isles 20 – Canes 25.
Like I said earlier, stick to the plan as it is clearly working, send bodies to the net, crash the net hard, dig for rebounds and earn those gritty and dirty goals (something the Islanders have not done in a really long time). One last key, stay out of the penalty box – we cannot allow Carolina to score any more power play goals.
It’s quite simple really, right?
8:55pm And the third period is under way.
8:56pm One of my keys to the period has been broken, Streit gets a penalty for holding.
8:57pm Islanders finally clear after a scary two minutes in the zone. Even strength
9:03pm Mark Streit just sprawled out going backwards full speed to take away ANY shot or pass from Carolina, great play.
9:07pm TAVARES DOWN, TAVARES DOWN
Sutton steps up and wrecks the offending player.
And he looks shaken up, but ok. Thank god.
9:10pm TOO many men for Carolina. Islanders power play – even strength for :17 seconds. Islanders have owned their penalty kill so far.
9:13pm Tavares out for a shift and looked determined to score, his play was broken up though.
9:19pm Carolina catches the Isles sleeping and feed a cross ice pass for a virtual empty netter.
9:20pm And as I type that, the Canes storm back and tie it up 3-3 – the crowd is absolutely livid, and rightfully so.
9:21pm Tambellini draws another penalty, Islanders back on the power play – THEY NEED TO SCORE.
9:27pm They did NOTHING on that power play, NOTHING
9:29pm Final :30 seconds…..gotta make them count to avoid overtime.
End of the Third Period
This should make for another interesting interview session downstairs tonight, the Islanders fourth trip into the extra frame this season.
9:33pm Okposo to Streit – ohhhh what a stop by Ward.
Final minute of overtime, I will recap the shootout after the game.
Up first for the Islanders was Jeff Tambellini. Tamby came in and dropped his shoulder to roof the puck over Cam Ward’s glove to give the Islanders a 1-0 lead.
Sergei Samsonov went in on Dwayne Roloson and he made an easy stop. Samsonov came in a little too slow and didn’t get Rollie moving at all.
Next for the Islanders was Franz Nielsen – a shootout specialist last season. Nielsen came in and moved side to side and beat Ward backhand to give the Islanders a 2-0 lead.
Next for the Canes was Jussi Jokinen, who came way wide and cut back to the middle and beat Roloson to bring the Canes back to within a goal and force another frame of the shootout.
Coach Scott Gordon sent out Number 91 and with the potential winning goal on his stick, Tavares scated in on Ward and made his moves. Tavares spoke about making sure “he really sold his moves to Ward” during his post game scrum – well he wound up beating him up high off the post. With that final goal Tavares secured (finally) the Islanders first and likely most important win of the season. The Islanders record now at this point is 1-3-3 for a total of 5 points.
Hopefully the Islanders can get some more wins now that they have broken the ice. One thing I never really thought of, perhaps wins come in bunches much like goals for streaky goal scorers. I bet that logic is flawed though, it’s up to the team now to prove us all wrong.