OK, so I was sick of hearing how many million games it’s been since the Islanders last defeated the Flyers in Philadelphia and overall. For the record, the streak has ended at 13 (going back to April 7, 2007) in the city of brotherly love, and 9 straight overall since their last win over Philly.
To me, 41 shots against was a bit too much and being out shot 41-27 was not “positive”, yet the Flyers only really pressed hard in the third period more than anything else.
Overall, it was a pretty dominating game for the Isles, and Evgeni Nabokov came pretty close to notching back to back shutouts as well. It was also nice to see a 5 on 5 goal, a shorty and a power play goal in the same game, along with an empty netter to boot. In addition, scoring the first goal and building on the lead is a “habit”
I’d love to see the Islanders continue every game.Here are some of my thoughts and comments from the game, my “blind observations”, as they are;
• I wonder if Max (Turtle) Talbot will try to take a run at John Tavares again? JT shook him off like he was a paper doll.
• It’s great to see the Islanders continue to stand up for themselves. Moulson, Okposo and Streit all coming to the aid of JT after he received a face wash and Okie’s strong words to Brayden Schenn did this old school hockey fan’s heart good..
• I said it above, but it was a relief to finally beat the Flyers in their own building after some nearly 5 years. Sadly, I think I can remember the game in April of 2007 in which they had last defeated them.
• The power play continues to come up big for the Isles. They were 1 for 3, and I believe 5th in the NHL now.
• JT now has an 11 game point streak, totaling 19 points over that span. He now has 46 points on the season in 45 games. But … he’s not among the top 25 under 25 players …. Opinions are like you know what …. everyone has them and most stink ….
• The Isles have 3 guys with 40 or more points (Tavares, Moulson and Parenteau). I think Chicago is the only other team that has this distinction right now. Imagine if we had more of that secondary scoring?
• Speaking of secondary scoring, goals from Bailey, Streit and Grabner came from guys who are not on the first line, though JT did have an assist on Streit’s power play goal. PA Parenteau also had 2 assist to continue to contribute to the offense while not playing on the first line.
• Dylan Reese and Claude Giroux was an odd pairing for a fight. However, it’s hockey, and Giroux tried to inspire his team, while Reesr answered the call. From the Islander perspective, it also took the top scorer for the Flyers off the ice for 5 minutes …. BONUS!
• Michael Grabner has 3 goals in his last 4 games. He now has 14 on the season. This is a good thing as far as I am concerned. He needs to light the lamp a lot more often the rest of the way through.
• Not to be a broken record, but Nino Niederreiter needs to be given more ice time. I think we really need to see what this guy can do. He makes the most of his limited play, but 6 or 7 minutes a game is not going to cut it. I’m with Gary. I’d like to see 15 minutes on a second or third line.
• Did I mention the Islanders snapped a 13 game losing streak in Philadelphia and a 9 consecutive game losing streak overall? Hmmm.
To me, the next two games are going to say a lot about this team. The Isles have played playoff contender teams quite well, defeating the Caps and Flyers back to back. However, they need to come out with that kind of effort and emotion against the other teams as well. Carolina and ‘Toronto are their next two opponents, and both teams are outside of the playoff picture.
I don’t care what the record the rest of the way through the Islanders theoretically have to compile to make the playoffs has to be. Everything is all conjecture and guessing. Will it be 88, 90, 92 or more points needed to make the playoffs in the East ….. it’s all about winning games and picking up points That’s all the Islanders can do. Just win games and keep progressing. How many teams are ahead of them, etc, etc …. it’s all relative. If you win games and compile points, the math is the math in the end.
So, let’s start with 2 more points on Saturday against the Hurricanes. One game at a time, 2 points at a time. That’s how you get back into a playoff race.
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