Thursday, December 16, 2010

Isles Hold On To Win 3 - 2 Over Ducks

Jack Capuano did something I haven't seen before. He walked into the locker room and shook hands with his youngsters and tough guys: Travis Hamonic, Matt Martin, Trevor Gillies. He then walked across the room past the reporters and shook his winning goaltender's hand. Rick DiPietro has doubled Jack Capuano's win record tonight to -- two.

It was an interesting game that saw the Islanders finally produce on the Power Play and actually score three goals in 95 seconds. If anyone can remember the last time that happened to the NY Islanders I'd be surprised.

The Moulson, Tavares, Parenteau line was the most productive tonight. Each had a point. Moulson attributes that to some chemistry that has been established. He told everyone that PA and JT make some excellent passes that make it easier for the likes of him. But Matt Moulson also told us that he knows they have to learn how to win. "It's putting the foot on the pedal the whole game instead of two periods. The third period, I don't think we played our smartest period of the game. Sometimes the goalie plays great and you come up with the win."

He admits there are nerves out there, especially in the hole they are in. "We weren't very smart with the puck at important times of the game." This seemed to be backed up by Jack Capuano in his post game report when asked about the play of Rob Schremp. As talented and creative as he is, Jack said it's his decisions and turnovers they have to work on.

Matt Martin was finally smiling. Considering the big hits he was throwing as well as his fight with Parros late in the second period, I didn't think he'd be able to smile. But he was. When I asked him why there were so many bouts of fisticuffs tonight he told me "We have to form an identity in here. We're going to start pushing teams around. We have a lot of tough guys in here, a lot of big guys that are willing to do it. We have to start using that to our advantage. We did that tonight and jumped out to an early lead."

Having Milan Jurcina back on the ice was a "big" help. "He's a really big body. He's one of the biggest men I've ever played with. When a guy that big is on the ice, it's tough for the other team to get around. He throws his body around a little bit which I'm sure is pretty painful as well."

While Rick DiPietro may have been the winning goaltender tonight, you would never have known by the way he spoke to the press. Rick is well aware that this win was a drop in an empty bucket. "Sometimes we were holding on for dear life, but our D stepped up. Mac played great. It was nice having Juice back, a lot of good blocked shots, a couple of great plays in front of the net, we were scrambling around, and you know -- a big win."

You would think when he said "big win" it would have been with more excitement. It wasn't. There is still plenty of confidence building to be done. But at least this is a step.

It would have been better if they were able to maintain that three goal lead all the way to the final buzzer, but they couldn't. It's still a step. A much needed step in a direction towards winning.

Note: From my Twitter buddy in CA @Smplefy646 a little wake-up call:
Overlooked in this game is Hiller's performance off the bench the night after playing last night. Isles didn't score on their 17 shots against Hiller and if he had been in there from the start, might not have won this game. That being said, I told you they would win

No comments: