Points on Board: Isles make a POINT in Washington

 

Deer Park, N.Y.- I can’t stress it enough!! I have said it time and time again, this team is going to the post season dance.  If ever there was a game that reinforced this hypothesis it was last night’s loss? Yes we “lost” in shootouts, and no don’t worry this won’t be a 2500 word rant about the disgraceities of the NHL point awarding system…  http://eyesonisles.com/2013/03/08/isles-rangers-dont-hate-the-playa-hate-the-game-a-birthday-boys-wish/ This will, however be a piece from a very pleased fan, and if you can meet me half way here, you too are welcome to bask in glow of what was our hugest point of this season.

Why was this the “hugest point we earned this season?” glad you asked.

  • Good teams find ways to win/get points on evenings when they do not necessarily have their “A” games.
  • Good teams get the net minding required to keep their organIzations in games that could have easily slipped away.
  • Good teams have the staff to give their boys a chance to earn precious points.
  • Good teams muck, buzz, and do their homework on nights when the other team chooses to play the 1-2-2 trap.
  • Good teams stand toe to toe with anyone who attempts to intimidate, and push them around.
  • Good teams stay the course, play their game, impose their will, and refuse to leave the painted pond empty handed. Last night a GOOD TEAM took one small step for Sparky, and one giant leap for Blue and Orangekinde.

Carte b4 Secretariat

Last night we chose to implant ourselves in a playoff position, now lets see if it takes root. Because of last night’s point, unless the New Jersey Devils go undefeated in their last 11 games we now control our own density… I mean destiny.

Now do I expect us to finish 10-0 with 60 points on the season? Of course I do! But I have come to the disturbing realization recently that, perhaps (and much to the world’s detriment may I add) not everyone sees the glass as overflowing as I do.

So with that being established for those of whom may not see the 60 points as clearly as others, I say this. Should the Devils right their ship and go 7-4, we just have to go 6-3-1.  Then the ugly, awkward, tooth braced, acne faced, tweenager gets to stand against the wall at the dance, and he might, just might cut the rug while he’s there. Ya neva, neva, know? There, that doesn’t sound so bad, now does it?

How it went down:

True we did not leave our Nation’s Capital with the 2 points we all hoped we would, but we didn’t leave empty handed either.  True it was not one of our best games this season, even at times one could say we did not match the Caps intensity or physicality, but we didn’t leave empty handed. True we did outshoot the Caps 36-22 but we… Oh wait never mind, but you get the point.

The first Stanza ended on a down note as the Caps found a way at 19:47 (ugggghhh that hurts) to get one on what appeared to be almost a misfire by Mike Green that fooled Evgeni Nabokov.   It came at the end of what was a lack luster period by the Isles who seemed to be on cruise control the entire first period. It ended the frame 1 – love bad guys.

Their effort in the 1st period left us as fans well, in a word displeased. But let’s take a moment here to pause and reflect on just how far we have come, shall we? We now look at an opening period like the one here the other night as completely unacceptable. Where as not 2 seasons prior we would have “taken” it as not terrible.

Therefore one can only give as the youth of today would say props! However I am no longer a member of the youth of today, and being 15 years removed form being eligible to be on the Real World,  I shall simply say plaudits to our organIzation, from top to bottom for having moved the bar of expectation. Thereby purposefully changing the atmospheric conditions in and around the team. Folks, there is nothing, I say not a thing more important then the atmosphere and who controls it… But I digress (I can hear you sayin thank God #sittingnexttoTedStriker)

Save… and a Beauty.

The second act proved to be unlike the first, thankfully. Although (much to the chagrin of Mr. Husack) the results may not have been there as the stanza ended identical in scoring as the first, but the effort certainly did a 180. The Isles out shot the Caps 14-7 in the 2nd, and if not for the simply unconscious net minding between both pipes the game would have certainly been soaring towards the over.

 

A dazzling stop! Don’t you just love the pronunciation of “Visnovsky” by Jiggs here? It’s the little things that don’t show up in the box score that win championships !

NABBY !! NABBY !! I love excellent net minding, it truly is an art & a science… My groin sense was tingling.

The OK & Bailey show:

During the Caps power play at 15:20 of the 2nd while Brad Boyes was felling shame, Kyle Okposo, and Josh Bailey put on about a 60 second clinic on how to kill off a penalty. They went in and aggressively dislodged the Caps defensemen from the puck and took it. They then played a game of keep away. They cycled and to celebrate Earth Day recycled the puck over and over as the boys in red played chase.  This was all just an appetizer of what was to come from this new dynamic duo of ours in the third mind you.

This display, this PK, really said to us as fans that we have something special goin on here, and we are going to be a juggernaut come Brooklyn ! This little penalty kill truly spoke volumes to the tenure of Garth Snow!

 

Third Act:

With the fan base begging and pleading for our boys to find a way to knot the game the old nemesis of any team who has yet to find the twine began to tick faster and faster as the first 10 minutes went by in what felt like 30 seconds.  The Caps were successfully doing their best NJ Devils circa 1995 impression of bottling up the neutral zone and having 18 guys back on every play, leaving the Isles with few chances in the first half of the final stanza. It was at this time I was begging Jiggs and Butchie to utter the word “shutout”.

However much to our credit, Captain Jack AKA coach Jack Capuano who kept rolling his lines double shifting John Tavares a little who seemed to get stronger as the game progressed, nicely. Cap and the boys never diverted from our game even as the clock shrunk, and shrunk. meanwhile  back home we were left gripping our favorite libations tighter and tighter, as we said to ourselves either verbally or through our technological revolutionary devices, “come on boys find a way pleaaaaassseeee!!!” Than as GOOD teams do, we did.

Josh “don’t you dare call me a bust” Bailey circled the wagons and badda bing badda boom, Bailey, to Nielsen, to Okposo, to she’s all tied at one. You could literally feel a sigh of relief from oh say I dun no, the Barclay’s Center to the Montauk Light House when Okposo buried a beautiful dish from Frans Nielsen leaving no doubt as he lit the lamp… Go ahead see for yourself. Go ahead, don’t be shy…

What a play by Bailey here! The steal, the move, rounding the net like Bobby Orr, the dish, the pass by Nielsen, the burying of it by Okposo. It was truly a point earning play, by what is not only our best line these days, but one of the best lines in the league period! It’s time more people said just that. Go ahead say it, we’ll wait… You do know if you say something enough times… Just a thing of beauty by our boys!

So the game would end all tied at 1 all. Now I’m not one to make anything out of what happens in overtime or shoot outs cause (and not to take up your time) it just ain’t hockey. If this were a playoff game and we all know it sure felt like one, we’d be looking at 5-on-5 sudden death (CAN’T WAIT !!)

So to say last nights contest was settled in any way is incomplete, it’s just a necessity of the regular season. And don’t think that these two might not meet up in the first round. Figure the Caps are not gonna relinquish the 3rd seed now, and we are only 4 points out of the 6 with the Senators losing again tonight.. Caps-Isles playoffs? Those are always fun… For us…

2 Quick Points on JT:

1. True, and to his credit he has really stepped up his physical game out there. On numerous occasions night after night where he would have in the past just peeled away, he is now barreling into everything and everyone he can. Perhaps this is a newer side of JT, perhaps this is his game? Now call me crazy here, but has anyone else noticed that his wingers opportunities and points have gone way down since JT started to exert himself more in the physical part of the game? Could be coincidence of course, but it is true… something to ponder…

2. Last night had the look and feel of a playoff game, and John Tavares was a marked man by the Caps all night. He was hit, and run, over and over again. On more than one occasion he was the ire of the Caps purposeful attention after the whistle.  If the Isles and we the fans think last night was bad, imagine what the big bad Bruins would have in store for JT? Not saying he lacks the chutzpah to stick up for himself. However he could use a say Clark Gillies type of gorilla with him to let the opposition know if your gonna take a run at our franchise there will be consequences for your actions… I wonder who in the world could fill this role ?

Game Notes:

  • Isles held Alex Ovechkin pointless (not counting the shoot out winner) snapping a 9 game point scoring streak. Hats off to our defensive corps and Nabby there eh?!?
  • JT was held to only 1 shot *see above
  • The Isles are 5-1-1 in our last 7
  • Matt Martin led us in hits with 6 (Thank you Captain Obvious)
  • Kyle Okposo dominated the face off dot winning 6/7
  • Rangers tied the Pens tonight so they too now have 40 points with a game in hand.
  • Butch Goring is getting better and better as a color man, last night referred to Holtby’s glove as a “Flipper” #awesome!
  • Welcome Scott Mayfield who signed a pro deal and is now joining Ryan Strome at Bridgeport. The Isles future is blinding !

Thank you all, have a great weekend Spring is Here !!

Scotty Bonner

“Trying to capture the Spirit of the thing…”

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

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Topics: Alex Ovechkin, Caps, Garth Snow, Islanders, Isles, Jack Capuano, John Tavares, Josh Bailey, Kyle Okposo, Matt Martin, New York Islanders, Playoffs, Stanley Cup Playoffs, Washington Capitals

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