Monday, February 15, 2010

Hearts & Heartache: Sens 4 - Isles 3

I had the whole day planned. I had looked forward to it for weeks. Just as so many other well planned events, things didn’t quite live up to expectations.

There was a red velvet, heart shaped cake in the fridge for two days that I insisted my mother make us as our Anniversary gift. There were two bottles of champagne chilling in the cooler and a pizza dough rising on the stove.

There were also VIP tickets to the Islanders game courtesy of one of my closest friends and favorite people. The trouble was there was also a sick husband home on the couch coughing up a lung.

“Can you still go?” I was asked. “You think I’m going to stay home from the last game before the break so I can watch him sleep? Are you kidding?”

My 15-year-old brat girl became my Valentine’s date for the afternoon. Oddly, I did enjoy her company. However, the game left much to be desired.

Both teams on the ice wanted to head into the Olympic break “on a high note.” Only one could. It came down to who actually wanted it more in the third period. The Senators rallied from a 3 - 1 deficit so as not to repeat their previous night’s loss to the Red Wings and scored three unanswered goals.

An Ottawa newspaper called our fan base “apathetic,” I think we were just stunned. Blake Comeau scored two goals but couldn’t manage that third for a hat trick and Matt Moulson tallied his team leading 22nd. Maybe he heard me calling for it for Section 218, “Matty!!! I want #22!” He gave it to me.

Matt Martin, playing in his fourth NHL game didn’t have another fight, didn’t receive another penalty, but did manage one less shot on goal than team mate John Tavares; six.

But it was the continued inability of the Power Play that sunk the Islanders hopes of earning another two points before the break. I’ve said all along, if you can’t score five on three, there is something seriously wrong. The Isles began the third with the two man advantage for 46 seconds. When they could not capitalize on it, the Sens smelled blood and the collapse began. Then again, what should I have expected? The Senators came into this contest with 76 points to the Isles 58 and had won both previous contests this season. This was another opportunity lost for the Islanders to prove they could compete with the best of them.

Jon Sim and Jeff Tambellini were the scratches again for Sunday. Considering how few games Jeff has played this season, I can only assume that his name is penciled into just about every and any trade package Mr. Snow is working on for the deadline. “If you want Andy, you have to take Tamby too.”

Marty Biron was Dwayne Roloson’s backup while Rick DiPietro was home with the flu. (I wonder if there was a heart shaped cake and champagne in his fridge too.) Roloson has lost all of his last five starts. Memories of that January 12th shut out against Detroit are quickly fading.

Just as that Ottawa paper said this morning, “The Islanders look like a team that has lost grasp on the hopes of a playoff spot.” An accurate observation. But more painful for me was listening to Chris King’s post game on WMJC on the way home. There are only 20 more games left to the season and only eleven home games. Where did the season go? I will have to try to make sure that I don’t miss any of the upcoming contests that begin again on March 2nd.

By the time I hit my driveway, the text came over my phone announcing the reassignment to Bridgeport of Matt Martin, Jesse Joensuu and Dustin Kohn. I guess they will not be making that group trip to Mexico with the rest of the boys.

With the Olympic break, I will be certain to get to Bridgeport for at least one game, maybe two if I can swing it.

I made the heart shaped pizza while drinking champagne from one of my Anniversary flutes. By 11 pm, while watching the sports anchor on Channel 4 give the Islanders a one line game review, “The Islanders lost 4 - 3 to the Ottawa Senators,” I cut into that heart shaped cake and wondered what the hell I was going to do for the next two weeks.

1 comment:

~me said...

now I'm hungry.....