Thursday, December 2, 2010

Isles 5 Vs. Rangers 6 12/2/10

It was a game of flukey bounces and opportunities for both sides. And considering that it was a cross-town rivalry match, it was actually pretty disciplined. There were the two major fights. The first coming at only 3:24 of the first period as Trevor Gillies and Derek Boogaard squared off throwing punch after punch and spinning each other around and around. The second fight didn't come until 10:12 of the second when Matt Martin and Michael Sauer become well acquainted. Other than that, there was only the pair of #16s annoying the daylights out of each other, but not taking any penalties. Yes, Sean Avery seemed to be on his best behavior and he was rewarded for it with a three point night in assists.

The crowd of 13,742 that was definitely more red, white & blue than anything else traded cheers and jeers with each other. While Marty Biron was pulled from the net after giving up 3 goals, the crowd didn't seem to get on him. However, when Rick gave up 4 goals by the second period, he was called out in unison by Ranger and Islander fans alike. But as an equal opportunity heckler, the crowd did the same to Henrik when he replaced Biron. Lundqvist gave up two more goals to the Islanders. All the goals but one were at even strength. Only Marian Gaborik scored on the power play while PA Parenteau was in the box for high sticking.

Zenon Konopka finally scored a goal as an Islander, Travis Hamonic tallied his first NHL point with an assist on Blake Comeau's goal, Rob Schremp scored his third from a different angle this time and Matt Moulson has to write another check to the Islanders Childrens Charities.

But all that was not enough to hold off the Blueshirts. Yes, they were lucky bounces. Once of which came off returning defenseman Andy MacDonald's face. But some of the Ranger goals, especially Gaborik's, came from mistakes. The Islanders had 25 turnovers to the Rangers 5. And when the Islanders had their one powerplay opportunity, they couldn't make Doug proud by scoring on it.

So while the game was well within reach all the way to the last minute, it was a painful loss for the youngsters on the Islanders roster.

The mood in the locker room was somber once again. There was no loud music playing, just whispers of disappointment and media questions. To a man, the sat in their stalls waiting for the inevitable "So what went wrong?" and "What do you think you have to do tomorrow?" How about 'win'? That's the answer. How often can you analyze a loss. They are not excuses, but reasons. A turnover, a bounce, a penalty. But yet, they answer, over and over again.

Christian from IslandersHockeyBlog was better at interviewing the players who were still trying to shake the loss off their minds than I was. I attempted to talk to Matt Martin but just couldn't. Christian went over and did the job I didn't have the heart to do.

Ken from OkposoNet held my recorder for me int the crowd that surrounded Rick DiPietro. He hated losing this one. Actually, he hates losing all of them. You can hear it in his post game interview. This was not a blow-out as each team had scored at least five times. The problem was that the Rangers managed six.

The good thing? That means Wendy's Chili tomorrow and the Islanders have actually remembered where the back of the net is. The bad thing? The Rangers left the building with the two points.

Dwayne Roloson will get the start tomorrow at MSG. I had a feeling he would. Mind you Dwayne may not have a very good first period due to the extensive time without playing. But know the Islanders will be ready and will have even more intensity than they did tonight.

Andy MacDonald played with a controlled fire tonight. Jack Hillen may be back in the line-up tomorrow and should play with the same type of intensity with not only points but roster positions on the line.

They get to do this all over again tomorrow.

Offside: We stopped to talk to CJ Papa for a few minutes and I took a photo of my blogger brethren and the SNY TV regular. That's Ken Dick sporting a new look, CJ Papa,'s Brad Kurtzberg and Christian Arnold from IslandersHockeyBlog.

Also a good read is Brad's extensive and thoughtful one-on-on Q&A session with GM Garth Snow at

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