08 October 2009
While tonight's game didn't go according to plan for the Islanders, they still managed to come away with a point. At this time last year the Isles had the same amount of points after two games as this year, the Difference? The Islanders have shown that they can compete with the big boys of the NHL.
Starting strong the Islanders quickly let up and gave the Sens scoring opportunity after scoring opportunity. The Senators would capitalize, as play moved through the Isles zone the puck seemed to go out of play and come back in but the refs never blew the whistle. As the Isles scrambled around wonder what the hell was going on, Peter Regin knocked the puck past Martin Biron to give the Sens a 1-0 lead. Though video replay and eyewitness accounts confirm the puck went out, the play was un-reviewable due to some technicality in the rule book. Play continued and so did the dreadful play of an Islanders team that was being overpowered.
The second rolled around and continued off where the first left off, missed scoring opportunities, bad defensive plays (given the team did manage to make a few good ones) and for some reason the team had a huge problem getting their shots at the net. This culminated into another Ottawa goal at 13:12 in the second, Matt Carkner wrist shot on slightly past Biron on another questionable goal. This time though the reffs went to the video review, but the call stood making it 2-0 Sens.
Immediately after snapped out of their funk. The Team maintained a strong presence in the Ottawa zone especially Jon Sim who constantly picked the puck up and nearly scored several times......sigh if only he could have capitalized maybe we would have won . Anyway Islanders saviorJohn Tavares nearly had a goal of his own. As Tavares position himself on the right side of the net the puck got to him. Trying to get the shot off quickly Tavares lost some of the umph in the shot and Leclaire got his left leg out in time to kick it away. Shortly after that though, Kyle Okposo showed off his impressive ability deking around to the front of the net and getting the puck around Leclaire to make it a one goal deficit.
With the momentum clearly shifted the Isles came out in the third looking for some more scoring. Right out of the gate Jarkko Ruutu got called for interference, although the Islanders didn't capitalize they would get another shot. 3:37 into the third Erik Karlsson gets called for interference. This time they would pay, As the Power play winded down, Ruutu left to the ice to get a new stick assuming his team would clear the puck and kill the PP. Well the puck was kept in Doug Weight fed a starving Matt Moulson and Moulson buried the puck. Tavares would also get in on this with an assist (hey that's 3 points in 2 games, do i see the rookie of the year ?) That made it a game again, 2-2 after being down by 2 the Isles fought and clawed their way back.
The good times didn't roll as Mike Fisher destroyed fans hopes by netting the game winner just 32 seconds into overtime.
While technically the Islanders lost, which they should be disappointed about. They can once again walk away with some pride knowing they fought their way back from a 2-0 deficit. While at times shaky Biron came up big several times including at the beginning of the game diving to knock the puck away from an offensman all alone and when he robed Alexi Kovalev of a goal in the third. Rob Schremp who made his debut was met with mixed reactions. While on the ice he was very un noticable except when took 2 back to back penalties in the third near the end of the period. Right now only time will tell if he was a good acquisition or not. Last and certainly not least Tavares who made his Canadian debut in the place where became synonymous with World Junior excellence. Although he did not score a goal, he did manage to rack up another point on his assist to his good buddy's goal. Tavares was roughed up, but managed to constantly seek out the puck and obtain score opportunities for himself and his line mates.
Surprisingly at the end of this bizarre night the MSG Plus poll, Will the Islanders make the playoffs? an astonishing 85% voted they think the Isles will make it. Astonishing, but not entirely possible. While the team has shown that they can battle back and fight for points, they still have a number of areas that need to be addressed including "not pushing th panic button too early"which was so eloquently said by Assistant captain Kyle Okposo follow saturdays home opener.
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