It's been nearly 31 years since Denis Potvin layed a hit on Ulf Nilson which ended his career and created a chant that has been around for three decades. "Potvin Sucks" has been a staple at every Ranger-Islander game and can be heard at reagular Ranger games once in a while. The chant that was born from that 31 year old hit has in my mind officially run its course.
A hit that by many accounts was clean and Nilson himself did see the hit as dirty or blamed Potvin for any wrong doing. "The ice was never great in the Garden because they had basketball and other events. My foot got caught. It was a freak thing. The Ranger fans were so frustrated,” Ulf Nilson told the New York Times back in February of this year
Even though it was a clean hit fans of the Blue Shirts either have no idea why they chant "Potvin Sucks" or they have a completely distorted view of the events that evening. "It was a dirty hit, a total cheap shot!" a group of Ranger fans told Sports Illustrated. One fan even admitted that he did not know why or where the chant came from. With most that's probably the case, a tradition that was passed on from one to another. Much like the pure hatred for the Islanders or Rangers no one really knows why we truly hate them other than the fact that they are so close together.
The fact is, Denis Potvin was one of the greatest NHL defenseman, scoring 310 career goal and the first defenseman to reach 1,000 points. "In a sort of backhanded way, [the chant] was such a big compliment to Denis,"Neil Smith told Sports Illustrated. "You know, the fact that one player, after 37 years of the team being in existence, that one player has come to symbolize the franchise now." The Chant has turned into a joke for the Islanders greatest defensman and former captain, who jokes that the Garden faithfull have been chanting "Potvin's Cups" for all those years.
Joking aside, the "Potvin Chant" has run its' course. It had 30 year run, 15 of which should have never happened. It has been 21 years since Denis Potvin laced up his skates and threw on an Isles uniform and still Ranger fans dwell on something they know nothing about. The time has come to officially retire a chant that makes no sense to chant. It would be like if Islander fans still chanted 1940, it's outdated. "Potvin Sucks" should go the way of "1940" and "Crack Head Theo," right out the window. "Potvin Sucks" was fun while it lasted, but to quote Phil Esposito, "Get over it already."no comments
The title says it all, Henrik Lundqvist Stoned the Islanders all night long and while the Islanders played solid Hockey through the firs two periods the Rangers were leading by 3. The Rangers were 50% effective on the power play scoring 3 out of their 5 goals on the power play. On the other side of the spectrum the Islanders were horrible on the power play, going 0 for 7.
In the Fist the Islanders dominated the Rangers and it looked as if tonight was going to be a good night, oh was I wrong. Streit went to the box for holding at 12:41 and less than two minutes later Ryan Callahan got the Rangers on the board first. Then with a little under 3 minutes remaining Chris Drury scored his third of the season giving the Rangers the 2 goal lead. The odd thing was the Islanders outplayed their opponents in nearly every aspect of the first and still managed to be behind 2-0
The start of the second would not be any better, 27 seconds into the period Callahan scored his second power play goal of the night giving the Rangers the 3-0 lead. The Islanders had a chance to bring the game within 2 when Lundqvist came out and tripped giving Nate Thompson an open net to score on. Thompson picked up the puck and SHOT IT WIDE! sending every Islander fan into a WTF moment. Young Andrew MacDonald saved his butt though, blasting a shot from the blue line past King Henrik at 9:31.
That goal seemed to give the team some jump and gave fans hope for a comeback. That was obliterated in the third however, just 2 minutes in Freddy Meyer got called for delay of game after his clearing attempt went over the board out of play. Then a minute later an odd scuffle broke out by the Ranger net resulting in a questionable penalty that gave the Rangers a 5 on 3 power play. Marian Gaborik scored on that power play giving the team from Manhattan a 4-1 lead. 3 and a half minutes later Artem Anisimov scored making it 5-1. The Islanders did not give up though, as the game started to come to an end Frans Nielsen scored to make it 5-2, but nothing more happened and the Rangers got the win.
ANLYSIS:Take nothing away from the Rangers capitalizing on their scoring chances, but tonight's win for the Rangers is really all thanks to the goal tending of Henrik Lundqvist who stopped all 14 shot in the first period and 32 of 34 shots overall. His outstanding play during the first is truly what gave the Rangers the momentum to take it to the Islanders and win.
The Islanders don't play again until Saturday against the Canadians, who lost by the score 3-1 to the Wild tonight. The Islanders need to do what they did after the blow out to the Panthers Monday night, just shake it off and get ready for the next game. With a winnable schedule ahead the Isles need to capitalize during these games and obtain so needed points. The Islanders and rangers meet again next Friday for round four at the Garden.no comments
The Rangers or "Short Island Blue Smirfs" as Lighthhouse hockey calls them were embarresed last night at the Garden by the boys from Long Island. Jon Sim would get the first goal for the Islanders in the first followed by a late game goal by Blake Comeau in the third. The only Ranger goal would come to little to late.
The Islanders recorded 28 block shots and Roloson stoped 25 of 26 shots faced last night. If Roloson is up to the task, Islanders coach, Scott Gordon, should put him back in net instead of Martin Biron. While Biron has always brought his "A" game, he has only 2 wins in 15 games to show for it. To me staying with a formula that works makes the most sense for the Isles.
On the Blue and red side of the spectrum, John Tortorella vowed a shake up for tonight and he has, sort of. Tortorella has scratched over paid defenseman, Wade Redden and forward Ales Kotalik. For all the frustration expressed last night by the coach that seems like a very minor shake up, so id expect some more before game time.
The Islanders spent the morning in a team meeting at the Coliseum and no morning skate. Katie Strang reported that Tim Jackman, Doug Weight, Jeff Tambellini and Bruno Gervais were out there doing conditioning laps this morning.no comments
The last time the Islanders met the Rangers, the Rags were one of the hottest teams in the league and the Islanders were just struggling to get a second win. A lot has changed since them, Now both teams are neck in neck for 8th place in the eastern conference.
The Islanders go to the Garden tonight looking for another jult to get back on the right track. The Islanders were mauled by the Panthers monday night, 7-1 and have only won their last 4 out of 12 games. Speaking to reporters,including Newsday, this morning Andy Sutton said, "Maybe the heightened emotion will add a little fuel to the fire and get us to right the ship a little quicker," said Sutton ."We'd much rather play badly one game and not do it over a stretch of games. So we can get it all out of our system and beat the Rangers twice."
After the Islander beat the Rangers 3-1 on the 28 of October, they went on a four game winning streak, so back to back wins could bring the Islanders back to their semi winning ways. Here are the starting line ups courtesy of Newsday and Islanders Point Blank:
New York Islanders
Goalie: Dwayne Roloson
Scratches: Bruno Gervais and Jeff Tambellini
New York Rangers
Higgins - Dubinsky- Gaborik
Prospal - Drury - Callahan
Avery - Anisimov - Kotalik
Brashear - Boyle - Lisin
Goalie: Henrik Lundqvist
Other news: Islander prospects Calvin de Haan and Travis Hamonic were both selected to the Canadian World Junior team. Congrats to two players who have worked their butts off and earned their spots.
Sound Tiger Defensmen, Dustin Kohn is injured once again. According to Chris Botta, Kohn suffered a lower body injury in last nights win over Portland. He is currently listed as day to day.no comments
The Islanders coming off 3 straight losses, beat the Bruins for the first time this year, after the Bruins came back agaisnt the Islanders in Boston, and beat them in the Shootout. But this time, the shootout was not needed, just Overtime, as the Islanders, Frans Nielsen, capped a 3-2 win for the Islanders. no comments
Teams are now starting to move into the 30+ game range of how much of their season they've played. We're past the halfway point but not quite yet to halfway, and with the Olympics sitting in the middle of February waiting to pause the season, now's a good time to review some teams and their performance thus far. Today I'm going to look at teams who probably aren't where most people expected them to be in the standings at this point of the year. We'll start with the East.
Atlanta Thrashers-15-9-3-33 points-6th in East-No one saw this coming, then add Kovalchuk getting injured early on in the year, and really no one saw this at all. But Ondrej Pavelec has played quite well in goal and the Thrashers are somehow sitting in the top half of the conference. Plus in their favor, their 27 games played is tied for the fewest with Buffalo. In a league where a handful of points separates fourth place and home ice in the first round from tenth place and watching the playoffs at home, to be sixth with the fewest number of games played is pretty impressive for a team with little expectations entering the year.
Philadelphia Flyers-14-13-1-29 points-10th in East-28 games into the season and the Flyers are only one point about .500. A coaching change has already taken place for a team that added the likes of Pronger and Emery to an already strong team during the offseason. And there were a great deal of people who felt the Flyers could, should and would win the Stanley Cup this year. Now they're on the outside of the playoff race while trying to get used to a new coach and system. This is a team that could be in panic mode 50 games into the season if things don't turn around soon.
Carolina Hurricanes-7-17-5-19 points-15th in East-Wasn't this team in the Eastern Conference Finals seven months ago? Now they're last in the East and last in the League. This team is playing just awful, but they don't really look as bad as they are because they have the Maple Leafs keeping (a poor) pace with them. They've almost switched roles with the aforementioned Thrashers; if people were told two teams from the Southeast would be in playoff position, they'd guess the Canes and Caps. And no one would have been surprised to see the Thrashers last. Role reversal. Unless there is a miracle brewing in Raleigh, this team will pick in the top five in the 2010 draft in LA.
Positive mention-Ottawa Senators Negative mention-Florida Panthers
Now the West
Colorado Avalanche-17-9-6-40 points-2nd in West-This team finished dead last in the West last season but got off to one of the hottest starts of any team this year. Sakic may have retired, but a ton of injured players that missed time last year came back healthy and ready to go. And go they have. Craig Anderson has been great for them in net as well and looks to be one of the best offseason acquistions. Second place in the West is a bit deceiving though; their 32 games played is the most in the league, and they're only one point ahead of division rival Calgary and the Flames have played three less games. So just as easily this team could fourth or fifth in the West, but even that is higher than most would have predicted they be this late in the year.
Phoenix Coyotes-18-11-1-37 points-6th in West-As easy as it was to type "Phoenix" I could have, had things gone different this summer, typed "Hamilton" or any other city just now. But after months of turmoil, the Desert Dogs stayed in Phoenix. And while Bettman was running his mouth about a better on ice product meaning more attention and ticket sales, fans were laughing at the notion that this team could actually succeed. Questions about the franchise ran well into training camp, and Wayne Gretzky mysteriously disappeared and then was no longer the coach. But all of this just goes to show that hockey players are hockey players and are in no way worried about schematics. But there are still worries to be had about this team; they were in a better position in the standings 20 games later in the season last year than they are in right now, and that team fell apart after the all-star break and missed the playoffs.
Anaheim Ducks-11-13-6-28 points-15th in West-This team was three minutes away from overtime in Game 7 of the second round last year before Dan Cleary scored and pushed Detroit into the Western Conference Finals. And despite trading away Chris Pronger in the offseason, this was still a team with a solid defense, more than its fair share of offensive talent, and two number one goaltenders. Now, the team is so bad that fans get into fights over hockey sticks after an overtime victory. Nothing can explain why this team has underperformed as much as they have this year. Granted, several teams in the West have had better than expected starts, and good teams have started off worse than they'd have liked to, regardless, Anaheim still isn't even close. They are the second worst road team in the league and are barely above .500 at home. A lot of personnel and players may be on the way out come the trade deadline and season's end if they don't get this thing turned around quick.
Positive mention-Los Angeles Kings Negative mention-St. Louis Blues
And finally, here is a shout out to the Islanders fan who made my sub at Subway this afternoon. Whether a reader of this website or not, I come across few other hockey fans in Central Florida, and that he happened to be an Islanders fan and I write for an Islanders site, it's worth the mention.no comments