“Shorties” give the Isles edge against the Bolts

By Gary Harding

Many teams get into a shell mode, and you can see the trepidation in their play when they go short-handed.  On the Islander side, this a great opportunity to get their fans excited.  Especially when numbers 40 and 51 get on the ice together.

Two short handed goals, one by Frans Nielsen (6th on the season and 12th overall) and Michael Grabner (5th shortie and 31st on the year), gave the Isles the 5-2 victory over Tampa.

The chemistry between the two guys is deeply infectious to the rest of the team.  The goal that they did not score on the PK was an absolute piece of beauty to watch.  Nielsen, although, should have been a bit selfish and took the shot.  You have to think that Roloson would have known that.

Great game by Jurcina.  It is amazing that this team is something like 1o games over 500 when he is playing and 14 under when he is not?  That stat may not make people sit up and take watch, but it has to have meaning to have that big presence on the blue line.  He does a lot of things under the radar too, and that makes the overall defensive atmosphere a lot stronger.  Got two nice assists on the evening.

Good to see Josh get off the schneid.  He is the wild card on this team, that if he improves his game, it can take the overall projection of this team and exponentiate it.  Look for his star to take off next season.  I think he knows what he can be for this team.

Montoya was sharp, and made some excellent saves when he needed to.  Especially that one on St. Louis,where he had to drape his body over the goal line and put the stick down to stop the puck from tricking over the line.  Expect to see DP in net tomorrow against Atlanta.

Like seeing the new coach Kevin Connolly getting involved and visible behind the Islanders bench last night.  What a dream for the average fan to get that close like he can.  What a gig, eh?

Well – time for some home cooking to build onto the performance in the state of Florida.