When Phaneuf ran over Kyle Okposo ever Islanders fan collectively stoped breathing, had their heart skip a beat, and wanted to run on the ice and blindside Dion Phaneuf. The legality of the hit is a mute point for the time being. As kyle Okposo Lay there motionless his teammates backed him up as everyone jumped up and wanted a piece of Phaneuf, which Morency got after he jumped the boards. Even Martin Biron ran out of his net to try and get a piece of Dion. And after things calmed down his teammates, opponents, arena crowd and stunned home audience watched in disbelief as Kyle lay their motionless. I could not have imagined that happening to one of our guys in the pre-season and it felt as if a personal friend had been attacked and I couldn't due anything to help and you could see even his own teammates felt helpless.
After leaving on a stretcher, news started to come in as Bob Nystrom told Canadian radio that Okposo called his father to tell him he was alright. Following the game Katie Strang tweeted that Okposo was talking and moving his hands, another good sign. And recently the Isles announced that Okposo was diagnosed with a mild conconcussion and he has been cleared to travel with the team back to Saskatoon tonight. A cautious optimism can be enjoyed by fans since the severity of the Injury looked bleak.
Many fans tonight and for days to come will debate how clean Phaneuf's hit actually was, some will valiantly say it was a dirty hit as Phaneuf appeared to leave his feet and others will say it was a clean hit and is part of the game. All I can call was extremely unessesary for a pre-season game, but hey judge for yourself and post a comment on your thoughts of the Phaneuf hit on Okposo.
Focus for this game was mainly on Theo Fleuy's comeback, since tonight would be his first game in six years. Calgary Fans made him feel right at home giving him grand applause every time he shot or touched the puck and the place erupted after Theo became tonight's hero scoring the game winning goal during tonight's shoot out.
For Islander fans though they will resonate on the fact that one of their star players was taken out on a stretcher after a huge hit by Dion Phaneuf.
Following a less than stellar start to the first, in which sloppy passing caused the opening goal by Nigel Dawes just 4:53 into the first. The Isles started coming alive late in the first keeping the puck in the flames end resulting in a goal. Josh bailey fired one from the left side of the net and Trevor Smith got his stick on the puck to redirect it in tying the game up at one.no comments
After a tough game against the Oilers last night in Edmonton the Islanders headed over to Calgary to take on the Flames tonight. Several story lines are entwined with tonights game including the return of fan favorite Theo Fleury after his 6 year absence from the game. Fleury even told the Calgary Herald “I would love to get hit — that would be great.”The game will be streamed live on the Calgary Flames website, you can check it out here as i will embed the feed right to the site for your viewing pleasure.
Notable events from last night include an impressive performance by Nate Lawson,two groin strains to Sean Bergenheim and Doug Weight which hopefully minor injuries, and Calvin de Haan scored his first goal in preseason. Here's what de Haan told ITV after yesterdays loss,
de Haan, who had a rough few minutes eased into the game showing many why he deserved to be taken at 12 in the draft.
On a night that was suppose to be all about John Tavares it was Bruno Gervais, Nathan Lawson, and Calvin de Haan who stole the show. From the drop of the puck these three players had their "A" game ready for a long night.
The Islanders opened up strong in the early first, consistently keeping the puck in the offensive zonefor a good part of the early first period putting pressure on Oilers starting goalie Jeff Deslauriers. 4:30 into the first Nate Thompson and Byran Young Dropped the gloves in retaliation for a hit on Freddy Mayer Thompson didn't necessarilytake to kindly of. As the period progressed the Oilers seemed to pick up the slack moving the puck the other way into the Isles zone. Play shifted back the other way and at 6:39 Bruno Gervais fired a wrister from the point to give the islanders a 1-0 lead. From some angles looked as if Tavares, who was situated in front of the net had redirected the shot in but the goal was given to Gervais. no comments
All eyes tonight will be on John Tavares as he suits up for his first NHL preseason game against the Edmonton Oilers up in Canada. Tavares, who missed Monday's game due to a bout with the flue is now feeling well enough to get ice time in what will be his first time wearing the Islanders orange and blue in a real game situation. Tavares has had a succesful and impresive camp so far, from being taken under Doug Weights wing to impressing many with his skill and maturity. A side note for tonights game, TSN is reporting that Dwayne Roloson is expected to start against his former club, although he isnt listed in the lineup given to Newsday's Katie Strang.
It didnt take long for the injury bug to rear it's ugly head as Frans Nielsen is returning to New York to have his knee examined. The unknown injury occured at an uknown time, on an uknown date (you remember how upfront the Isles are about injurys).
Finally, here is the lineup for tonights game. Note the players that many of us wanna see including johnny boy, Cizikas, Justin DiBenedetto, Joel "THE WRECKER" Rechlicz, Calvin de Haan, and Big Foot aka Mikko Koskinen. Hockeybuzz's Dee Karl should have an esier time recognizing the players tonight. And Here is the lineup accroding to Newsday:
Forwards: Doug Weight, John Tavares, Sean Bergenheim, Joel Rechlicz, Casey Cizikas, Justin DiBenedetto, Nate Thompson, Tyler Haskins, Robin Figren, Richard Park, Jon Sim, Jesse Joensuu.
Defensemen: Andy Sutton, Dustin Kohn, Calvin de Haan, Bruno Gervais, Freddy Meyer, Travis Hamonic
Goalies: Nathan Lawson, Mikko Koskinen