Top Shelf : Islanders Daily 6/16/13


Middletown, N. J. – There are two observations to me that are fairly obvious as we have completed two games in the 2013 Stanley Cup Finals. First, these two teams just do not like to play 60 minutes of hockey. They are so evenly matched that extra sessions have had to decide each of the opening battles in Chicago. Secondly, referees continue to play a crucially negative role in this season and into the playoffs.

Boston, dominated thoroughly in the first period and outshot  19-4, could have and should have been down 2-0. Two minutes after Patrick Sharp had given the Blackhawks the lead with a wrister that eluded Tuukka Rask, this happened….

Now call me crazy but whether the official lost sight of the puck or not, it ended up in the back of the net. There was really nothing to lose sight of. It was never frozen and clearly and conclusively crossed the goal line. The obvious blown call cost Jonathan Toews not only a goal but potentially game two for Chicago as they never could get that elusive second marker after that.

The Bruins took over defensively, making the adjustments at intermission that championship teams make and ended up outshooting the Blackhawks over the remaining two and a half periods 24-15. And Chicago would make two critical defensive lapses that would send this series to Boston for game three on Monday night all knotted at one game each.

First, Patrick Kane was lazy in the low slot area and did not pick up Chris Kelly riding his back, allowing for an easy put back on a rebound to tie the game in the second period. Then, in overtime, Brandon Bollig failed to control a wrap around by Brent Seabrook and clear the zone, allowing the Bruins Tyler Seguin to find Daniel Paille for the game winning snap shot that in all honesty, Corey Crawford, so good in this series so far, badly misjudged and allowed to sneak over this glove.

The Bruins, in all honesty, have looked a tad hungrier in the series opening games and for long stretches have contained the Blackhawks transition game by aggressively fore-checking their defenseman in the corners. This has led to numerous moments of possession and scoring chances for Boston and they might feel a tad unfortunate heading home tied and not leading in the series 2-0.

This is certainly shaping up to be a classic series and every passionate NHL fan is anxiously awaiting what game three will hold.


Around The Twitter-Sphere

  • Neither could we…The Islanders are setting themselves up to a very good hockey team for years to come but I am afraid it will still be a couple more before we see ourselves in the Stanley Cup Finals. Just enough time to get ourselves mentally and emotionally ready because to be honest, I know I could not handle it yet. hee hee
  • Tavares, I would venture to guess, only cares about one piece of silverware and that is the hallowed trophy that the Blackhawks and Bruins are playing for right now. But this is true, there will be accolades upcoming for the Islanders superstar.
  • One of the funniest tweets of the last couple of MONTHS, from our very own Mike Willhoft. When I saw the Stefon voice preface, I actually read this tweet doing my best impression and was laughing for the next hour. ?
  • Outstanding tweet from Jesse Spector, a must follow for hockey fans. It goes to further drive home the fact that there is nothing like the Stanley Cup Finals in all of professional sports. What a spectacle it truly is.

Around The NHL

  • Up above I delved into game two of the Stanley Cup finals so there really is no need to belabor the point here. But I will leave you with game highlights and the suggestion to clear off your schedule tomorrow night at 8pm EST as the series shifts to TD Bank Garden, where the crowd will be just as enthusiastic and passionate as they were at United Center. A classic story continues to be written.