Well here we are, an early Sunday game and the season finale for the Islanders.
Good afternoon Islanders fans, it’s been a great season in a few ways. As I said earlier this week, it’s not the end of the world that the team did not make the playoffs as there has been growth and experience by everyone in the organization all the way down to Bridgeport.
Next season, Tavares will be a year older and stronger – you can say the same for a handful of other members of the team as well. It’s going to be exciting next season watching these young guys come in and understand the game better. The team is growing together, and that isn’t something the Islanders have been able to experience in quite a while.
This game, more specifically a loss here against the Penguins is extremely important in terms of lottery and draft position. If the Islanders lose and the Panthers beat Tampa in overtime, they can finish with as high as the third overall draft pick. Throw in crazy three point games and an Isles win tonight and it gets more complicated. As always, Chris Botta has everything mapped out for you and even predicted a situation that could happen in a post last week. It’s going to be fun to watch and root for other teams tonight.
The Islanders fourth line tonight is made of – count them – three callups from the Bridgeport Sound Tigers ALL fighters. I joked with Islanders PR man Seth Slyvan that the team was looking to set a single game penalty minute record by a line. It’s a real life version of the Bash Brothers from the cult-movie classic Slapshot.
At least we know the game will be entertaining….
Speaking of entertaining, I watched a majority of the Penguins lineup kicking a soccer ball around for about 45 minutes. They get kinda crazy with these pre-game rituals and warm ups.
5:10pm And we’re off. Penguins have had two shots already.
5:15pm Penguins on the board first, Malkin on the Pens fifth shot of the game.
5:16pm Islanders power play – get Moulson out there please. He needs number 30, and he almost got it.
5:19pm They failed to score on the power play, I think they only had one shot on goal.
5:23pm Rechlicz and Rupp just fought, Joel clocked Rupp with one punch and dropped him – although he got back up right away.
5:24pm Penguins score again – 2-0 on their 7th shot. Now the Isles can really focus on getting Moulson his 30th and make me not lose my sanity.
5:27pm Gillies called for interference – bad call.
5:32pm Islanders power play
5:34pm And even up, Streit off for interference.
5:35pm Hunter came down the right wing, fired a wrist shot and hit the inside of the far post. Park couldn’t get to the rebound. Penguins on a one minute power play.
5:40pm Guerin to the box for interference.
5:42pm Crosby just scored his 50th of the season and now owns the point lead over Ovechkin. Lots of Pens fans here.
End of the first period.
We just watched the Flyers defeat the Rangers and make the playoffs.
Islanders scored (Tavares) on a five on three – not much else to report about this period, the Islanders were outplayed in every facet.
6:10pm I leave to get a pretzel and I miss the action. Crosby scores again and now has the lead. And Jackman tried to take his cage off in order to fight – Crosby wound up with a double minor.
6:13pm Moulson scores his 30th on the power play!
6:16pm Rechlicz and Godard 5 for fighting. Jackman and Malkin are both sitting for unsportsmanlike conduct. I think Rechlicz got a misconduct on his fight too – he’s not in the penalty box.
6:22pm Malkin and Jackman come out, he went right to him and hit him – Malkin cowered like a little kid. Malkin got two[ minutes unsportsmanlike and interference – Jackman two for unsportsmanlike and a ten minute misconduct.
6:28pm Great Isles power play, they have had quite a few chances here this period.
6:32pm Hunter looks like his former self here tonight, hungry and shooting the puck a lot.
6:34pm Haley in the box, for interference.
6:35pm Malkin on the power play – 5-2 Penguins
6:45pm Haley to the box for goaltender interference – he may have blown out his knee on a play, helped off the ice – Tambellini serving the penalty.
6:50pm Final minute of the second period
Well, if that wasn’t even worse of a period then the first I don’t know what is. Lots of penalties, lots of fights and lots of Penguins goals. We saw Crosby score 50 and then 51, but Matt Moulson notched his 30th and Tavares got his 23rd so it wasn’t a total loss that period. It’s good at least to see some of the young players reach milestones, which gives you that warm and fuzzy feeling. At least for now.
THIS IS IT, the final twenty minutes of the season. And as Ken Dick of Okposo.net says “It ends with Soundgarden”
7:10pm And we’re off.
7:16pm Okposo scores from a sharp angle
7:17pm And now Sim scores deflecting a Hunter shot and the Islanders pull into one goal 5-4 Penguins
They need to stop scoring, it’s bad enough Tampa beat the Panthers
7:25pm Gervais in the box for interference – Penguins power play – they better score
7:28pm Hillen in the box this is like Christmas day
7:36pm Pittsburgh failed to score on their two previous power plays, this is not acceptable.
7:39pm Islanders tie the game, Meyer from Okposo and Moulson
7:45pm Leave it to the Islanders to screw up draft position by forcing overtime.
And if they Islanders lose in overtime, we can still have the 5th overall pick – glancing at the standing anyway.
Yesssss Pens score in OT and we get the number 5 pick next week!