Feb 11, 2012; Toronto, ON, Canada; Montreal Canadiens defenseman PK Subban (76) retrieves the puck against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre. The Canadiens beat the Maple Leafs 5-0. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Isles-Les Habitants: A Ranger-sized Appetizer

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“The Undressing”

UNIONDALE, N. Y.–There’s something wrong with us… Something very, very wrong with us… We’re hockey fans… But we’re Islander hockey Fans !! After capturing 3 out of a possible 4 points in their last two home games the Islanders have yet again (for the fourth time this season) peaked our interest and sparked our hyperactive eternally optimistic heart. A heart which all Islander fans must possess, or lest we’d go stark raving mad!

Again that voice we all know all too well begins to put thoughts in our head saying , “well if we could just w…”STOP IT GET OUT OF OUR!!!” Too late.. Darn you optimism!

If we can just find a way to defeat the Montreal Canadiens tonight we’d guarentte that we could pull tied with the Rangers, and even possibly pass them Thursday night as we face them in the ‘ole barn for the first time this season. Oh I really can see the scoreboard as the teams exit the ice:

PTS.

ISLANDERS  24

RANGERS     23

Can’t you see it? I Can ! I just hope John Tavares can too!

The Islander Tease

A condition of not being terrible enough (because of John Tavares and Evgeni Nabokov ) to disappear into lottery oblivion, and capture enough points to remain within realistic striking distance of finishing in the top 8. However not quite good enough, so that every single time we have a game to truly establish ourselves and say “WE ARE HERE!” (Devils 3-1, Flyers 7-0 and, Canes 4-1 just this season alone) we simply perform like team USA early on against the West Germans, afraid to win the game cause that would mean we’d have enter the fray and face the big bad Russians. Fortunately USA had Herb Brooks to call them out on their fear. Well my friends our Isles have us! So listen up!

It seems the atmosphere of 20 seasons without a playoff series victory has caused our organIzation to become like a Gooseless Maverick, hesitant to engage! Every time this team this year and in the past couple … Ok Fine u want to break me down, you want to hear me say it!?  

Every time this team has had the chance to win a “statement” game, and dive head first into the playoff pool it has failed miserably! For the most part not even showing up in the (forgive me) John Tavares era!

Unlike some major network reporters and broadcasters who write and say things to simply kick up a dust storm, and make a name and/or fool of themselves (Rob Parker/RGIII). I want JT to absolutely shine this evening versus the Habs. We want JT to shine! I want this made clear as day.

JT,  although you have been more than advertised since day one, you have been our best player , and you are a top 5 player in the league without question. All this up till now has been more then enough.

Son, this may be Long Island, but it’s still New York, and although you guys may often hide in the big shadow casted out by the Garden Boys, it is time you put up and won a game that propels us into the midst of the playoff picture no matter whom the opponent.

It’s time JT that you looked around that locker room, put this organIzation on your back, and claimed your rightful place as its leader, and its’ “franchise” ! It’s time you imposed your will like the greats who came before you in that locker room, and refuse to allow this team to fail!

Impose your will

Put a stop to this era, this culture, this atmospheric environment that has encased us like the LA smog of the late 80’s, and turn this thing around once and for all. John Tavares, it’s time!

Ok putting the pom-poms down (but only for a sec.) So into town comes the Prince of Wales leading Montreal Canadiens.  Sporting a make you take a double look 14-4-4 record good for 32 points.

Berets off to them for perhaps the most impressive first half of the season in the league, Blackhawks not withstanding of course.

When last we saw the Habs, we were celebrating the tic-tac-toe overtime goal by Thomas Hickey.  His first of his career, nicely !  

It was yet another one of those games this season where prior to faceoff it seemed as though the Isles were going to just quietly disappear into lottery oblivion, but as it is with “The Islander Tease”, we managed to earn 2 big points.

MOST IMPRESSIVE

The Canadiens come to Nassau on the heels of arguably their biggest win of the season.  Defeating the Boston Bruins in Boston 4-3 on Sunday. The Habs kicked off a 5 game road trip with an impressive come from behind victory at the TD Garden.  A statement game for certain, one that saw the Habs score twice in the final stanza on just 4 shots.  The victory helped secure Les Canadiens atop the conference. Let’s all hope they suffer a Bruin hangover tonight, like the ones we often exhibit the game after a Ranger game.. Ohhhh crap, just realized I’ve got tickets to Saturday versus Caps, great, grand, wonderful terrific!

SIMPLY ABLAZE

The Isles come into the game on a hot streak, a win at home.  Coming off of Sunday’s shootout victory versus the Senators at the Coliseum, the Isles have put together back to back good efforts on home ice earning 3 out of a 4 possible points, and thus we find ourselves yet again on the brink of entering the playoff conversation.

Finally it would seem that some secondary scoring has begun to re-emerge with goals in the last two contests by Kyle Okposo , Josh Bailey and Michael Grabner respectively. Bailey’s game is coming into form as he is hitting his stride returning from having his knee scoped at the end of the lock out with points in two straight.  Okposo’s performances have been getting better and better with each effort, as he finally appears in game shape.

The oft scratched David Ullstrom had a very solid 2 way game on Sunday, and showed his hands on numerous occasions quickly getting the puck to the net.  I love him on that line with Grabner. You can’t teach speed and that line allows Jack Capuano to role four lines all game if he sees fit. Please Cap don’t scratch Ullstrom!

MUST HAVES

  1. Isles must continue to be at least even during 5 on 5 play. Last two home games the Isles are even at 5 on 5 which may finally be a sign that things are truly turning around.
  2. John Tavares, and Matt Moulson must get things going again. The two have combined for 1 assist over the past 3 contests.  The secondary scoring is nice, but if these guys don’t produce, we don’t win period.
  3. Speed! The Isles must skate. The Habs are built on speed, but the Isles too are one of the fastest teams in the league. Open it up, and play to our strength.  Don’t try to slow them down, try to fly right past them.  let our best, be better then their best. Run and gun!

 

At the End of the Day

A win tonight would truly set the stage for a monstrous game Thursday night versus the New York Rangers, a game that would undoubtedly bring a playoff like atmosphere back to the ‘ole gal for what might just be one of the very last times these two play a very meaningful game in Nassau.  I could be dead wrong, and the two organIzations may have a 7 game epic in the spring of 2015 who knows?

What I do know is this, just one win, just one victory tonight, and we’re in the picture, we’re in the discussion, and everyone in the New York area will have an eye on Thursday night’s contest. You’d better believe Boomer will be talking about this one all Thursday morning on the Fan should we hold up our end of the bargain this evening.  It would be the biggest game in John Tavares‘s young, awesome career thus far, and darn it Islander fans, don’t we just simply deserve it ? So for crying out softly boys, Win tonight!

Quick side notes:

  • This is one of those games that I despise the home teams wearing their colors.  Now we have to see Montreal in their “road” whites as opposed to their bright, beautiful “reds”.
  • The Montreal Canadiens are only 3 goals shy of their 20,000 goal in their amazing history. Let’s all just hope that it’s not 2-2- with a minute left and the puck is slowly gliding across to P.K. Subban as he is poised to unleash his Howitzer…

 

Thank You

Attempting to capture the Spirit of the Thing…

Scotty Bonner

P.S. Have a Nice Day !! :0)

Follow Scotty @moosiestmoose42

And please don’t forget to get the FANSIDED App so you never have to miss an “Eyes On Isles” piece again…Which is nice!

 

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Tags: Canadiens Evgeni Nabokov HOCKEY Islanders John Tavares Kyle Okposo Matt Moulson Michael Grabner Montreal New York New York Islanders New York Rangers NHL Overtime Pk Subban Rangers Senators Shootout Travis Hamonic

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