1 for Blue and Orange – 0 for Blue and Red

By Gary Harding

Finally – playing a solid FULL game pays off for the Isles.

I would not say they dominated… but they kept with the Rangers just about all game.  They outhit them, and especially won at the faceoff circle. I believe they had over 65% again, as they did the other night.

Park was at about a 80% rate.  That is BIG when you are trying to get your game rolling.

What a great shot by JT.  Just his nose around that net is so above the average 19 year old.  I know this was his first goal in 5 – but he has never stopped the effort, and to be honest, his wheels are not as bad as all the pundits thought it would be.

Plusses:  1.  Jack Hillen – breakout game for sure.  Set up the Moulson breakaway, and just has a nice presence.  He keeps his head up – and really does a great job on passing the puck.

2.  4th line – Coach was giving these guys some serious ice time, and they deserved it.  They were physical, but selective.  They were winning key faceoffs (see Park).  They got the Rangers off their game.

3.  PP – clicking well – three goals in two games on the PP – have to be happy with their effort.

4.  PK – Rangers had a PP goal in last 9 games – until last night.  They were getting just as many scoring chances at the Rangers on the PP.

5.  Dwayne Roloson – made some great saves (so did the NYR goalie – but we wont talk about him).  He also got some help by some red iron (4 – I beleive),  but came through when needed to.  He was directing his troops when the Rangers were attacking.  He looked almost Patton-esque.

Minuses:  1.  The fights (not on the ice) in the stands.  There had to be at least 5 separate slugfests, with the one near my section being a real humdinger (havent see so many haymakers since Summer Slam).  Both sides fans have to get a grip, and realize that this is a hockey game – not a rumble.  Get over it.

The days don’t get any easier.  The Caps are next in DC.  The only good thing, is that the Isles will be rested, as Washington plays in Atlanta tonight.  Saturday, the Sabres will be doing the same thing that we are doing.  Buffalo awaits us for a game at the NVMC on Halloween night.

Well – I am happy – we got 2 points, and stopped the 5 game losing streak at home against the Rangers.  Savor for a little and move on!  Have a hockey day, folks!