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Brrrrr it’s cold outside!!!

Here we are once again preparing to live blog from the blog box, tonight’s game featuring the New York Islanders and the Columbus Blue Jackets. Last season the Islanders split two games with the CBJ’s shutting them out 4-0 at home and losing on the road 3-2.

The Blue Jackets were hurting as of late, losing nine straight until they managed a win on the road against Detroit. The win, came on the heels of the CBJ’s trading with the Washington Capitals. Columbus sent Jason Chimera to the Caps for Milan Jurcina and Chris Clark. Look for this team to come out fired up as sometimes a personnel change is just what the doctor ordered for a shake up.

An interesting note tonight, each team has the exact same record, 15-18-7 (37 pts)

Let’s see if this busy weekend of hockey is behind the Islanders, they can certainly use the home win – which should (on paper) be easier with Dwayne Roloson in net.

First Period

7:08pm Columbus controls the opening draw.
7:10pm Ex-Isle Raffi Torres narrowly escapes a big Sutton hit in his “office” just inside the Islanders blue line.
7:12pm Bad Isles turnover, Umberger dishes to a waiting Nash in the slot and Roloson makes the save.
7:15pm MacDonald makes a nice steal at the blue line and dishes off….to Jon Sim.
7:18pm You never really know what you have until it’s gone, thankfully Tim Jackman is back – we missed is grit.
7:20pm Islanders register their second shot on goal, albeit on a play that started behind Columbus’s goal line, but they got the puck to the slot. Correction, their fourth shot – they were late to update the scoreboard.
7:22pm Okposo with a big wrist shot, it was bobbled by Mason and Bailey deposits the loose puck into the net. Islanders lead 1-0
7:24pm Goal credited to Okposo assisted by Bailey and Sutton. I thought I saw Bailey push the puck over the goal line behind Mason – I could be wrong though.
7:29pm Trent Hunter shoots twice, it’s blocked twice and Nash catches him blindside as he is following through with his shot. On the way off the ice, Hunter gave Nash a nice punch from behind to let him know he was there.
7:32pm Witt active in front of Roloson tonight, he’s been clearing the crease and taking exception to late hacks on his goalie – something I like to see.
7:34pm Mr. Hockey, Gordie Howe is in attendance tonight. How about that!
7:35pm Sutton gets two for interference, let’s kill this late penalty
7:37pm Great kill by the Islanders, I don’t even think they allowed a shot through on the kill.

End of the first period

I like what I see from our Islanders here tonight. They are executing the forecheck, creating pressure in both the offensive and defensive zones and have been blocking shots like crazy. They had a great kill late in the period, and as I previously mentioned I do not believe they allowed Columbus to even get one through to Roloson. The Islanders look fresh tonight, CBJ’s are on a nice little road swing and on the second half of a back to back. They are also playing a much more physical game, which – shouldn’t be a coincidence that they exit the ice after 20 minutes up 1-0.

They need to come out and build on the lead and play the same way, maybe frustrate Columbus into taking some penalties and get Tavares and Moulson some much needed points – and more importantly, confidence.

Second Period

7:57pm Islanders control the opening draw back into their own end, continue their offensive pressure on Mason early on.
8:01pm Islanders shorthanded once again, Park for holding the stick.
8:03pm Bailey just credited with the Islanders goal, as I called earlier – thank you
8:06pm Islanders have killed of both Columbus power plays so far tonight, with minimal chances allowed.
8:09pm Tavares was just leveled from behind, no call on the play although there appeared to be some thought when the referee looked at the play.
8:10pm Islanders being outshot 20-11 here at the 9 minute mark of the second period.
8:12pm Richard Park with speed into Columbus’s zone and is pulled down, another non-call.
8:16pm Tavares with a nice pass to the slot, Mason stops it and Moulson cannot get his stick on the rebound. They exit the zone and return, this time Tambellini on a breakaway but it got broken up by Vermette.

End of the second period

Another nice period by the Islanders, the shot count is not indicative of real scoring chances by Columbus, as the Islanders have been keeping the slot clear and blocking all other shooting lanes.

Roloson has been solid, as he has been – the Islanders just need to work harder for better scoring chances, as Mason appears to be giving up some juicy rebounds. On more then one occasion, an Islanders player has been right in the crease for a rebound, but has either been caught with his stick down or neutralized by a Columbus player.

For whatever reason, the Islanders have not been awarded a single power play, but they have given up two and killed both. It’s not like there have been no infractions, the officials tonight are just allowing both teams to play an open game.

The Islanders are still playing a very physical game, the line of Tambellini, Hunter and Shremp have been hitting everyone and Blake Comeau has been providing great space for Tavares and Moulson. I like what I see so far from that trio.

Let’s see what happens in the third period.

Third Period

8:45pm Islanders control the opening draw here in the third period, that’s 2/3 tonight – wow
8:46pm Islanders going to be a man up, Columbus’s Umberger called for tripping. Power Play!
8:48pm Delay of game Columbus, Islanders up TWO men for :47 seconds
8:50pm Two decent attempts, first penalty has :9 seconds remaining.
8:52pm Two more power plays by the wayside for the Islanders, no sense of urgency and no movement.
8:58pm Islanders and Columbus in what appears to be a tennis match here in the third period. Blue Jackets are peppering Roloson with shots but again, they are all lowe percentage plays with an occasional great stop thrown in for good measure.
9:01pm RJ Umberger ties the game for Columbus 1-1
9:02pm Scott Gordon elects to settle the team down and uses his timeout.
9:09pm Sutton with a BOOMING hit on Umberger and Roy takes exception and drops the gloves on Sutton – he just skated away. Power play Islanders
9:12pm Islanders get about three quarters of the way through their power play and Shremp gets called for goaltender interference to even it up.
9:16pm Islanders kill another penalty off, shots are 40-19 with 2:10 remaining
9:17pm Islanders power play, delay of game Columbus – HUGE opportunity to ice them here.

End of the third period

Penalty carriers over into overtime, Islanders get a point which is important – can they make it two?

Overtime

9:22pm Penalty about to expire – Islanders 0/5 tonight
9:24pm Sutton pulled down in the offensive zone, no call – why would their be?
9:25pm Columbus owns the last two shots on goal here in OT.
9:26pm Hunter with two good opportunities, Sutton involved as well.

Final minute of overtime

9:28pm Bailey with a shot off the iron.

A fight to the finish, Islanders had a few more shots in the waning seconds. We are shootout bound.

I will recap that after the game, going to shoot some video on my new Flip!

Shootout

1. Tambellini – No goal
2. Huselius – No goal
3. Nielsen – No goal
4. Nash – No goal
5. Shremp – Goal
6. Tyutin – No goal

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