Hello once again from the Blog Box not so high above the ice here at Nassau Coliseum. Tonight’s matchup is between the Atlanta Thrashers and the New York Islanders.
Look’s like I am flying solo here with my live blog, as there are no other bloggers present. For shame, it’s going to be a quiet night here.
The Islanders are looking to reverse their recent losing streak of two game after winning four in a row and earning points in six straight contests. They will have to do so minus two comrades, as defenseman Radek Martinek is out indefinitely with a torn ACL suffered last night in New Jersey and also their Captain Doug Weight whom is sitting out with a dreadful upper body injury. At this time, it appears that Freddy Meyer will dress in place of Martinek, but I am not sure who will take Weight’s place. Recent healthy scratches Rob Shremp and Blake Comeau are both taking part in warm-ups as I type this, so I am sure we will learn who is going shortly.
Some notes about tonight’s game:
Tonight’s game is the first of four games the Islanders will play against the Thrashers this year. They will play them again on the road 12/3/09 and then at home 1/2/10 and away 3/4/10.
The Islanders all-time record against Atlanta is 19-13-4
The Islanders were 2-1-1 against Atlanta last season
The Islanders last win was a 5-4 victory on 1/29/09 in Atlanta and their last loss came on 12/23/08 by a score of 4-2 in Atlanta.
The Thrashers will be without their star forward Ilya Kovalchuk having recently placed him on the injured reserve. That doesn’t mean the Islanders will have an easy time because his booming point shot is missing. The Thrashers drafted a young talent in Evander Kane this past June and picked up some talent via free agency this past off season in Afinogenov, Antropov, Boulton, Hainsey, Popovic, Reasoner and White. Between Kane the recent free agent additions, the group has scored 45 pts.
The Thrashers record so far in the 2009/2010 season is 6-5-1 for a total of 13 points where they sit 12th in the Eastern Conference. The Thrashers are also 5-1-1 on the road, so watch out for a strong road game here tonight.
The last two games the Islanders have not played their game, this is evident by what head coach Scott Gordon has been saying and clearly in the result of the previous two losses. When the Islanders are on their game, they play really simple hockey. They beat the opposition to lose puck, have a strong forecheck, stay out of the penalty box and support the puck. The last two games, the Islanders have visited the box numerous times and some have been really lazy penalties (hooking and holding). The Islanders need to come out with intensity and score an early goal, set the tone physically and allow their goaltender to see every shot that comes through.
Blake Comeau will be taking the place of Doug Weight, as it was just announced. Getting ready for the start of the first period.
7:12pm And we’re off. Islanders lose the opening draw.
7:14pm A new line combination of Okposo, Neilsen and Bergenheim just generated a good scoring chance. Wonder if Gordon decided to shake up his lines tonight.
7:16pm Yup, Moulson, Park and Tavares followed by Tamby, Sim and Bailey
7:18pm Islanders fourth line consists of Comeau, Thompson and Jackman
7:21pm Streit and Nielsen just wen in on a two on one. Nice play off a turnover deep in the Islanders zone.
7:27pm End to end action here, an Atlanta chance with Roloson out of the net and then Jon Sim gets a breakaway. Of course, he missed though.
7:28pm Big Andy Sutton continues to be the story, puts the Islanders on the board first. Assisted by Tavares and Moulson
7:31pm Thrashers have iced the puck.
7:33pm I am loving how much our defense has been chipping in offensively this season – that is something GOOD teams do and something WINNING teams do also. What a novel concept!
7:35pm Zach Bogosian comes down the wing and takes a wrister that must have fooled Roloson as it looked like an innocent play on net – it snuck through his armpit and it’s a tie game.
7:39pm Islanders take the lead right back, they crashed the net and snuck one past Pavalec
7:39pm Bergenheim nets his first of the season assisted by Meyer and Witt (notice the defense being involved again?)
7:41pm Nice pressure by the Islanders for what seemed like five minutes, Tavares gets hauled down on the play and the Islanders have their first power play
7:46pm Even strength, some decent scoring chances – fast whistles on the rebounds though.
7:48pm A trip and a dive called on the same play – never understand those calls. 4 on 4 for two minutes
7:49pm Islanders get their third 3-1 Islanders
7:50pm Hillen’s first of the season, assisted by Comeau and Thompson
End of the First Period
Typically I would give some keys to the rest of the game and the upcoming periods in this spot. However, the Islanders are playing so well – I will just say – keep it up.
8:08pm Islanders lose the opening draw again, maybe they will score another 3 goals this period. As I say that – Blake Comeau swoops in and scores his first of the season!
8:10pm Comeau his first from Thompson 4-1 Islanders
8:12pm Islanders are going to be down a man, Meyer 2 minutes for hooking
8:14pm Thrashers net a goal as the penalty was expiring, nothing really Roloson could do as it was a great play and a hard shot.
8:18pm Aside from that early second period goal by the Islanders, they are not playing the way they did during the first. They seem to be chasing the puck and are not as aggressive on their forecheck. Understandable because they have a lead, but don’t sit back.
8:26pm Witt just leveled Eric Boulton in front of Roloson. Islanders showing some life here, finally.
8:27pm Tavares chases down a lose puck, brings the defenders to him and dishes to Moulson, he SCORES 5-2 Islanders
8:30pm Fans here just gave Thrashers netminder Pavelec their opinion of him, I am 90% sure he waved at them…..
8:38pm Tavares was hit awkwardly into the boards and got the wind knocked out of him. Scary few minutes there.
8:39pm Hillen under pressure still got a point shot off, play is stopped.
8:40pm Hainsey just stepped in front of a Streit rip from the blueline – he does not look happy about blocking that shot and needed a second to compose himself.
And that’s the end of the second period.
For a stretch of the second period the Islanders were sitting back and not really dictating play. They were not physical and the forecheck wasn’t nearly as aggressive – in fact it was almost non-existent. However they came back for the second half of the period and started to get back on their game, we saw another goal and the Islanders are going to come out hungry – hopefully enough to give us fans double chilli!
9:00pm Thrashers come out with a new goaltender, Hedberg
9:06pm Islanders are a man short, Park is in the box
9:09pm Roloson makes a nice stop, Islanders have just about killed off Park’s penalty.
9:10pm Thrashers are keeping the play deep in the Islanders zone even though the penalty is over, Islanders need to step up their game here
9:16pm And that’s not the way to do it, Witt was just called for slashing.
9:21pm Thrashers score on the power play, Roloson not happy about it and felt he was interfered with on the play.
9:22pm STEP IT UP ISLANDERS
9:23pm Islanders going on the power play. Let’s see if they can capitalize.
9:27pm Islanders get a four minute power play here, two for holding and two unsportsmanlike conduct
9:29pm Bailey scoressss 6-2 Still on the power play Double Chili! Assists to Streit and Roloson
Packing up the laptop to head downstairs, there is less than a minute remaining.
Standing ovation from the crowd, game over – Islanders win 6-3 and snap their two game slide.