Deer Park – NY Evgeni Nabokov, and the Isles shutdown, and shutout the league’s top scoring duo of Steven Stamkos, and Martin St. Louis in Tampa tonight, and almost made it look easy as they earned a 2-0 win.
What a difference a couple of days rest can make for a weary hockey organIzation! The New York Islanders went into Tampa Bay this evening seemingly on a mission, and they had jump, and a spring to their step that was soarly lacking when last they took to the painted pond in Pittsburgh, PA. last Sunday.
The Islander leave beautiful Tampa Bay with their swagger found, their mojo restored, .500 re-captured, and most importantly with the all important 2 points in their pockets.
The Star of the game was obviously the wow is he good when rested Evgeni Nabokov, who stopped all 18 shots he faced, including an exhibition in the art and science that is floundering (somewhere Glenn Healy is smiling) to stop the onslaught of 6 bolts with under a minute left to maintain the fragile 1-0 lead.
In what was perhaps the Islanders best all around effort this season players like David Ullstrom, and Travis Hamonic had their best games of the year. The power play went 1 for 2 as John Tavares joined the league leaders in power play goals as he notched his 8th on the man advantage, and his 17th of the season.
Matt Moulson did his very best JT impersonation as he blindly, no look, Jedi mind tricked the puck to Tavares, who then just… Well why don’t you just have a look, and you can name what Moulson did yourself, though nothing beats a Jedi reference, You Will Try !
I have to happily admit that tonight I have to eat my words, which if you read my stuff would feed an Indian Elephant, but I digress…
Recently I have been particularly critical of the Islander Defensive corps. As a 40 year old former net minder (with the groin of a 25 year old) I guess that I still get a little upset when I see the defensive effort like we were forced to painfully watch on Sunday. However Mark Streit, and company had what was nothing short of a brilliant, dare I say near perfect performance this evening.
Limiting the Bolts to only 6 shots per period, keeping them to the outside, and paying specific attention to the 5 feet around Nabokov. Quickly clearing rebounds and tying up all loose ends in front. In short they took what happened on Sunday personally, and as a unit did something about it. Bravo boys ! Bravo
Still in it
Yet again we have seen our beloved Isles reach up and grab that elusive .500 mark. I just can’t help it, I just can’t contain myself. As much as I am doing my best to take it one game at a time, I can’t help but start to believe that we will at worst be in the picture, in the conversation down the stretch. This is getting fun, this is what all of us who have sat, and watched, and waited, and waited as team after team rose through the ranks wondering, hoping, when would it be our turn?
Well my friends now is not the time to pontificate on how we will be in the post season, or how to fire up the press, and print up those playoff tickets, that comes later. Know this folks, I am doing everything in my power not to have these “playoff” words emit from my finger tips. But I will say this, I am now confident that we will be there at the end, we will have meaningful games in the final 2 weeks of the season, and for that I’m excited.
Tonight’s huge win completely eradicates the loss on Sunday in Pittsburgh, and now the Isles have earned points in 6 of their last 7 games yielding a 12-12-3 record good for 27 points, 10th place still in the Prince of Whales 3 points out of a playoff spot, and just 5 out of the 5th seed. Tonight’s win: Still in it…
- Keep your “eye” out for our piece on the NHL realignment, and what it means to the league, the Islanders, and the playoff format…
Attempting to capture the Spirit of the Thing…
P.S. Have a Nice Day !!
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… And remember friends to upload the Fansided APP so to never miss an “eyes” piece again… Which is nice !!