I am trying something a little different today, I am setting up the live blog BEFORE I get to the game so I can go into a bit more detail with my pregame thoughts.
Tonight’s game is a huge deal for the Islanders. You may be asking yourself the question why, however. Firstly, the Islanders are home on a Saturday, which usually draws a larger crowd – factor in that fact with a visit by the red hot Washington Capitals and uberkind Alexander Ovechkin and you have a bigger draw then normal.
The Islanders got their first win earlier in the week and now have a record of 1-4-3 for a total of five points, I can tell you for sure that every Islanders fan is eager for this team to step up and show exactly what they can do when they are running on all cylinders. The Capitals are a great team offensively and defensively, but they will catch a break as Alexander number 2 (Semin for those not getting my poor attempt at humor) is out tonight with an injury. The Islanders shouldn’t take this lightly however, with plenty of other firepower available in their lineup.
The Ups and Downs
The list of players moving up and down seems to grow day by day and game by game.
Rob Shremp and Freddy Meyer appear to be your healthy scratches for tonight, with Jon Sim and Bruno Gervais taking their spots. Doug Weight, who did not travel with the team to Montreal this week, appears to be a game time decision as he battles an illness. Your goaltender of the evening is Dwayne Roloson – whom compared his first Islanders win last week to a kid attending his first major league sporting event.
The lines have been re-shuffled around, with Okposo being reunited with his previous linemates of Tavares and Moulson.
Jon Sim takes Shremp’s place on the second line – being paired with Nielsen and Bergenheim. On line number three, Josh Bailey centers Blake Comeau and Jeff Tambellini. Your fourth line stays the same, Park, Thompson and Jackman who combined for a few points in their win earlier in the week.
What do the Islanders need to do?
They need to keep their forecheck aggressive, they need to keep the Capitals from making their quick passes and limit their breakout. They need to play physical too, every time the Islanders play physical they give their opponents trouble. It forces turnovers, it makes the other team make long risky passes and keeps them frustrated. Looking to the game in Montreal on Thursday, they must limit their penalties against – not allow control of the puck in their end of the ice for long stretches. Keep it simple, keep it smart and they should be fine.
About to head out to the Coliseum, check back for updates throughout the game.
I really cannot stand when people yell and say stupid stuff while The National Anthem is being sung. It’s even worse when it’s a 4th Grader, show some class and respect.
7:10pm And the puck has been dropped.
7:10pm Islanders are dressed in their awesome vintage blue third jersey’s tonight
7:11pm Islanders get the first shot on goal, a great scoring chance by number 21 Kyle Okposo
7:12pm Roloson miscued the puck behind the net and gave the Capitals a decent scoring chance
7:15pm Tambellini just had a great chance that I have to admit, forced a great save
7:18pm Gary Harding of The View From Section 317 points out that Ovechkin is already being double shifted.
7:22pm Islanders thought they may have scored, it’s under review. Hard to see who swiped at it from where we are in 201
7:26pm Islanders are down a man, Comeau off for tripping
7:28pm Islanders have a nice kill going, Bergenheim just had a shorhanded opportunity but went way outside with it (wayyyy wide)
7:29pm Nielsen to Martinek and he scores! Shorthanded – 1-0 Islanders
7:34pm Islanders killed off the rest of Comeau’s penalty and are now controlling the flow of the game. The Capitals have gone offsides now about six times.
7:36pm Islanders just had Theodore down and out of the play and couldn’t tee it up into the yawning net
7:38pm Yet another offsides for the Capitals – the Islanders are keeping the Caps from gaining their zone, they seem to be out of sync
7:39pm Roloson just came up HUGE with a save on Steckel
Just about the end of the period, will be back in a few. May have a photo of Charles Wang shortly
Sorry about no post period comments, I took a few photos of Charles Wang and TOH Candidate for Supevisor Kristen McElroy
8:02pm Islanders started out the period on a power play, but it fizzled.
8:03pm Islanders will be down a man – Roloson for tripping, Sim is serving
8:07pm Great piece of killing right there by the Islanders. Not sure the Capitals even registered a shot
8:09pm Josh Bailey just passed to Sim and set him up to get whalloped – he side stepped the hit but Bailey has to be smarter about his passing.
8:18pm Just grabbed food sorry! Sutton gets the gate for hooking, Islanders have really stepped up their physical play. Ovechkin got NAILED near the penalty boxes
8:21pm Thompson just thumped Greene pretty good and got a nasty response as he was down. He’s ok, but the Islanders are down two men for :18 seconds.
8:23pm Isles killed off the rest of Sutton’s penalty, and are doing a great job with Thompson’s now. Keeping everything to the outside and allowing Rollie a great chance to stop it all
8:28pm Capitals are starting to dictate the play and are keeping the Islanders hemmed in deep in their own zone. Defensively they are keeping the Islanders out of their zone too, but it could be due to all the penalties.
8:29pm Bergenheim to Tavares and he cant finish, but there was a penalty on the play! Islanders power play – on Ovechkin for hooking
8:30pm Islanders just iced the puck, why is Jon Sim out on the power play?
8:32pm Tavares just made a sick between the legs pass to Okposo in front, but they couldn’t tee it up
8:33pm Moulson loves going to the net, so much so he wound up inside it.
End of the Second Period
A little dust-up here after the whistle, doesn’t look like any penalties were assessed though.
Keys to the period:
Staying out of the box, maintaining pressure, strong defense and creating the same types of scoring chances as they have been. I like the way the Islanders look with and without the puck, they have been sound positionally and not really been chasing as we saw in Montreal. If they do in the third as they have for the last 40 minutes, they can win this game.
8:53pm Islanders put pressure on right out of the gate, I think Streit caught the post – Theodore was scrambling and lost his mask in the fray
8:54pm Ovechkin powers and spins off the boards and Roloson makes a nice stop
8:56pm Bergenheim made a great play to pick the puck off and make a quick pass for a shot. Islanders got the rebound and pushed back to Witt – whom got his shot through the sprawled out pointman
8:59pm Tambellini scores on a deflection from Comeau’s shot 2-0 Islanders
9:04pm Capitals just scored on a shot by Greene 2-1
9:08pm Laich just got robbed by Roloson, what a save
9:11pm Nice blocked shot leads to a breakout and a scoring chance. Theodore came way out of his crease to cut down the angle on Bergeheim
9:12pm Okposo and Moulson in front with a great chance, couldn’t squeeze it through
9:16pm Nielsen just put the body on Ovechkin at center ice and knocked him off the puck – and down
9:20pm You let Ovechkin get free and not take the body on him (ANDY SUTTON) and it leads to a goal – 2-2 Aucoin from Ovechkin and Schultz
Like clockwork, the third period collapse has shown up in full force folks.
9:27pm I am starting to wonder what the Islanders need to do to get a power play this game – if that wasn’t a hold I have no idea what was.
9:31pm Bad shift changes, horrible defensive coverage – what the heck is going on
For the fifth time in nine games, we are headed to overtime. Unacceptable.
And it’s over. Caps win 3-2