David vs. Goliath. Mail room clerk vs. CEO. Islanders vs. Flyers.
Some of life’s biggest battles. Well – not really, but the Isles were ceratinly the “David” in this match.
And the rock almost knocked down the mighty Goliath.
Two goals by Matt Martin were the tonic to bring the Isles back into the contest after being down by two, and looking like they were just another piece of meat for the big bad boys in Orange.
But these Isles under “Interim” Coach Jack Capuano do not quit, and will not go down without a fight.
This game, unlike the usual Islander – Flyer matchups did not produce a fight. It, however, was a hard-fought game – with nearly 80 combined shots on net. Both netminders at times were outstanding; especially Al Montoya, who was doing his best Dominic Hasek impersanations. Montoya did give up 4 – his most as an Islander, but his work kept him in the game, and the goals he let up were not necessairly his fault. On at least two, the defense made some costly mistakes in front of him. Not mistakes of laziness or silliness; they are mistakes that a young defensive corps will tend to make when having to take on big, skilled forwards as Philly has. Mind you – that is not an attack of the defense. Just the fact that they are extremely young without Jurcina and Martinek in the lineup.
Frans Nielsen – now has 3 goals against the Flyers. He had something to prove after the Briere incident earlier in the season. He played his best game as an Islander. Grabner now without goals in 4 – but he is getting the opportunities. He is not giving up – and it shows in his play.
Moulson and Tavares were also playing well, despite not getting on the scoresheet. JT had 7 shots on net, and Matty M had 4.
The fourth line was playing great, hitting, and of course, getting on the scoresheet. Matt Martin looked possessed in the third period. The first goal, on a great pass to the left of goalie Bobrosky from Michael Haley onto the the waiting stick of Martin for the second Islander goal. The third had Martin looking like Patrick Ewing at the post, catching the puck, turning and firing. He did not look like a rookie on that play.
Unfortunately with under 20 seconds left in OT, Philly got one by, as Montoya ended up a little out of position, and did not have the chance to fully get himself squared to the shooter, as it seemed to me. But Capuano was please with their effort, against one of, if not the best team right now in the NHL.
Despite the one point, no one in Islander country should be disappointed by the effort. The results, a little bittersweet, but keep the head up Islander fans!
Tomorrow – the WHITE OUT, against the RED CAPS!