Feb 27, 2014; Uniondale, NY, USA; New York Islanders left wing Eric Boulton (36 Islanders) fights with Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Tim Gleason (8) during the second period of a game at Islanders’ Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Islanders hockey finally returned, and it couldn’t have come in a better way. The team started their final 22 game stretch on the right foot, beating a good team in the Toronto Maple Leafs by a score of 5-4.
The game was a back-and-forth contest, both teams producing bits and spurs of goals. Michael Grabner notched 2 short-handed goals in the first period, and on the same penalty kill nonetheless.
That was about as much momentum the Islanders could generate, as Toronto seemingly had a response to everything the Islanders could throw at them. However, two late goals by rookie Anders Lee propelled the Islanders into overtime, where newly appointed Assistant Captain Lubomir Visnovsky scored the game-winning goal.
Recent call-ups Ryan Strome, Anders Lee, and Mike Halmo all played their first game since being called up, and the trio looked solid on the ice. Strome looked rather quiet during the game, but strong physical play by Halmo and a two goal performance for Lee further impressed the Islanders and their fans, as these kids can certainly play hockey.
The team may be playing for pride at this point in the season, but last night was a reminder that Islanders hockey can still be enjoyable. It’s certainly not the same as watching playoff hockey, but there’s still a joy I get watching the Islanders play, and hopefully that feeling is mutual.
In Case You Missed It
Islanders Trade Deadline Preview: Potential Arrivals (Islanders Op-Timism)
Around the NHL
- New Jersey Devils 5, Columbus Blue Jackets 2
- New York Islanders 5, Toronto Maple Leafs 4 (OT)
- New York Rangers 2, Chicago Blackhawks 1
- San Jose Sharks 7, Philadelphia Flyers 3
- Montreal Canadiens 6, Pittsburgh Penguins 6 (SO)
- Detroit Red Wings 6, Ottawa Senators 1
- Washington Capitals 5, Florida Panthers 4
- Nashville Predators 3, Tampa Bay Lightning 2
- Winnipeg Jets 3, Phoenix Coyotes 2 (SO)
- Dallas Stars 4, Carolina Hurricanes 1
- Los Angeles King 2, Calgary Flames 0
- Minnesota Wild 3, Edmonton Oilers 0
Across the Sound
The Bridgeport Sound Tigers still are yet to experience life without their first line, but it probably won’t be very pretty. Despite the team’s brilliant play of late, winning 12 of their last 14 games (including 6 straight wins), losing their first line certainly is a blow to a team trying to climb back into the playoff picture.
The “Baby Islanders” currently sit in 10th place in the Eastern Conference, 10 points out of the eighth and final playoff seed.