Isles hang in and defeat Calgary


With a sluggish first period behind them, the Islanders looked like a completely different team.  They were battling, making good decisions, winning their fair share of the puck battles in the corners, and sometimes dominating the visitors from Alberta (to the dismay of a sweet young lady sitting next to me with a Flames hat on).

Despite surrendering a goal on the first shot of the game for the eighth time this season, the Isles came back, and a strong 3rd period, led by John Tavares, propelled New York to a 3-1 victory at Nassau Coliseum.  A surprisingly large crowd of nearly 15,000 were loud and supportive in the last stanza, especially for the first line.

Despite giving up the goal on the first shot, Evgeni Nabokov stopped 29 shots for his first 60 minute win since early October against the Rangers.  He was solid in net, making some spectacular saves, and gave the team a good chance to win.

Simply put – Tavares was BRILLIANT last night!

JT was causing havoc on the Calgary defense all night – making dazzling passes, and just being a huge pain to the opposition.  The removal of PA Parenteau from the line did not hurt him one bit.  Kyle Okposo was there, and he seemed a little energized by it.  Parenteau was with Frans Nielsen and Brian Rolston.  Michael Grabner was moved down to the third line.  He is struggling mightily, and it shows by the fact that he is not getting any breakaways in the last few games.

Defensively, the team did well.  There were some gaffes, especially some by Mark Streit. He has seemed to hav difficulty in getting the first pass out, causing some offensive chances for the opponents.  Milan Jurcina, Travis Hamonic and Andrew MacDonald have all played well, with AMac getting the first goal on a snap shot from between the circles.

Mark Eaton and Mike Mottau, especially the latter, have struggled a lot.  There a lot of folks in Section 316 that would like to see him be shoveled off somewhere.  It just seems like he is not clicking on all cylinders.

But- the losing streak is over, time to work on 2 in a row tomorrow, as the Isles put Kenny Morrow in the team’s Hall of Fame.  A well deserved honor for a quiet, but gentle giant, who was so pivotal to the success of the Isles, and, oh yea, that Olympic team.  How did they do in 1980?

I will be covering the game tomorrow – see you in the pressbox…. @IslesSection317 to reach me on Twitter, or Facebook me.

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