Deer Park – NY First off one of my hugest sports pet peeves are teams that don’t have names that end in “S”. Don’t know why but it drives me crazy… Whew feel better got that out.
Fortunately for me in Tampa Bay it is proper hockey etiquette to refer to them as the Bolts for it even says so on their please shield my eyes from it 3rd jerseys… But I Digress.
The Isles and Bolts play what seems to be an every night occurrence huge hockey game this evening down in beautiful Tampa Bay. Huge not only because of the two teams proximity in the standing, but because of the events which have transpired the last few days.
Last 2 days Quite tumultuous:
- The word coming down that Michael Grabner will be out 10-14 days with a shoulder injury, and what effect that will have on the OrganIzation going forward?
- The re-call of David Ullstrom, to take Grabner’s spot still leaves a spot on the roster open because no one had taken Ullstrom’s spot when he was sent down on Monday… Interesting. Might we have and El Nino sighting? Just sayin…
- And the ‘ole “oh by the way…” The 8th place Rangers loss to the Sabres leaving the playoff door to be left more then just adjar, she’s YYYYYAAAWWWWNNING for someone, anyone to step through..
- Flyers lost to Jersey 5-1 Keeping them tied with us at 25 points.
Dynamic Duo VS Dynamic Duo
In what is the most intriguing aspect of tonight’s contest, 4 of the league’s top players will be going head to head, mono-a-mono, the way John Wayne woulda done it.
Steve Stamkos,, and Martin St. Louis versus John Tavares, and Matt Moulson. Clearly the stats simply favor the pair from Florida what with both players in the NHL’s top 4 in scoring with 38,36 points respectively. And isn’t it time we refer to St. Louis as future Hall of Famer Martin St. Louis?
However the duo from the Island are no slouches themselves coming in 10th and 13th in the league themselves. Both with 7 each on the power play, tying Stamkos for second in the league.
All of which mixed together should make for a very exciting, and pivotal game for both organIzations. The Bolts come in with 23 points 2 behind the Isles and 5 out of the final playoff spot. The Isles find themselves just 3 points out of a playoff berth. This is a huge 4 point swing tonight. If the Isles win they will find themselves 4 points ahead of the bolts, yet tied if they lose.
It will be no easy task for New York as they begin their Florida road trip (so jealous!) as they take to the ice missing their fastest skater, and best penalty killer Michael Grabner who is out up to 2 weeks with a shoulder injury.
The Isles recalled David Ullstrom form Bridgeport. He was just sent down on Monday, however due to the injury has been recalled. Interestingly though the Isles never called up anyone when Ullstrom was sent down, so they have a roster spot open? Perhaps Matt Carkner is set to return? It’ll be interesting to see who Jack Capuano decides to dress along with Ullstrom to attempt to replace Grabner.
Yet another installment of I have no facts, nor any true evidence to base this on, but since I want it to be true I make it so in my brain.
My post-lock out hypothesis for the slow starts seen from the Kings, Panthers, and now the Lightning, is this. All teams are “beach front” teams, and it would appear to me that during the lock out the nice beach weather was too much a lure for some of their players. Hence when the teams returned in mid January said beach teams were less in shape then say the Winnipeg Jet players. Yielding the slower starts. Of which clearly the defending Stanley Cup Champions have shrugged off quite nicely may I add…
Think about it though.. Of course you say to me what about Anaheim? To that I simply reply: Please keep your facts out of my hypothesitical propaganda thank you !
The Isles and Bolts met back on Jan. 21st, the 2nd game of the season with the Isles taking it for their first win of the year 4-3. A game that saw the Isles jump out to a 4-0 lead only to have the Bolts storm back with 3 third period goals to make it 4-3 with 12 minutes still to play in the 3rd. If that game isn’t a microcosm of our season I don’t know what is?
- Take the over ! Both teams can light the lamp, and neither has a very discipline defensive corps. And the Bolts have not gotten stellar performances in net from either of their goaltenders this season.
- Watch Victor Hedman every time the #2 pick overall from the Tavares draft plays against Jonny Franchise he takes a run at JT’s head. Perhaps Eric Boulton should get the nod, and teach this young man a lesson. Could you imagine Matt Duchene out there with Stamkos, St. Louis, and Vincent Lecavaliere ?? I bet Bolt fans do!
- I love, love, love the new Bolts 2 color only uniforms, but get very upset that they allow black on the pants… You boys were so close, oh and the numbers need not be “spaced” between the blue and white. It cheapens the 2 color effect you so rightfully chose. (see Leafs, and Red Wings)
At the end of the Day:
As my partner in crime on eyes on Isles put it in his last piece, just one game at a time boys, keep your eyes off of the standings, and just try to take care of business. May I add one small caveat to what I truly 100% agree with.
Boys keep us close till Grabs gets back, and with his energy, some luck, and a lot of will power, we just might, just might find a way to sneak in. Cause no one seems to want to.
Not keeping on eye on the standings… But a huge one in Winnipeg tonight as well as the Jets take on the Rangers in a very important match-up in the standings which I am not looking at…
J-E-T-S Jets Jets Jets !!!
So ladies and gentlemen fire up your Flux Capacitor for this should be an old fashioned shoot out down in beautiful FLA. Enjoy the games everyone !
Attempting to capture the Spirit of the Thing…
P.S. Have a Nice Day !!
Follow Scotty: @moosiestmoose42
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… And remember friends to upload the Fansided APP so to never miss an “eyes” piece again… Which is nice !!
Topics: David Ullstrom, Eric Boulton, HOCKEY, Islanders, Jack Capuano, John Tavares, JT91, Martin St Louis, Matt Moulson, Michael Grabner, New York Islanders, NHL, Steven Lecavalier, Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay Lightning, Victor Hedman