Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Bruins 3 Grabner 2

Just quick notes. I was too busy playing fan-girl on the couch and dog sitter to a puppy that leaks every 10 minutes.

The Islanders played an excellent first period. The young defense and the kid who just played two games for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers weren’t a push-over for the 3rd seed Bruins.

The Isles Penalty Kill proved to be spectacular once again including killing off a5 on 3 early at 7:03 of the first when JT and Trevor Gillies shared the box. Rick made some excellent saves and caused a few heart failures when he left the net unattended. But with one tenth of a second left of the first, he let u the first Bruins goal to Thornton. He wanted that one back.

Josh Bailey couldn’t buy a goal, but boy, does that kid have some moves. He did manage an assist point. While I was trying to invoke the hockey-gods into giving new kid, Campanele, a point in his first NHL game, the only thing he’ll have to remember from this game is his first NHL penalty -- and playing against the Bruins. Tomorrow, he’s back to Bridgeport. But he didn’t look out of place in his 8:21 of ice time.

But it was speedy Michael Grabner that put the Isles on the score sheet -- Twice. New daddy Grabs scored his 32 and 33rd goal of what is considered his rookie season. Grabner scored one short handed goal and one power play goal. All because he’s now keeping his head up. One his shortie, he looked to have borrow a move from Frans Nielsen who has scored seven short handed goals. It was his fifth multi-goal game this season and he leads the team in plus/minus. As one top NYI employee said, he was “dynamic” tonight. I say he was awesomeness.

I’m truly hoping that the balance of the voters for the Calder have seen him. As Butch said, he is a legitimate contender.

For the Bruins, goalie Tim Thomas was the difference. He made key saves that would have won the Islanders the game. One especially on Josh Bailey while sprawled eight feet away from the crease. He got a good laugh out of that once the whistle blew.

Jack couldn’t help but smile when talking about his youngsters. They gave him everything they had. “ It’s gratifying. We are out of the playoff race, but it gives the young kids an opportunity to play in the NHL and I’m pleased with the way they played against the Bruins who are pretty deep.”

John Tavares didn’t have a great night. Oh, he played an excellent game, he was just a target for the Bruins. If they could keep him on the ice face-down, they would have. Well, they tried.

“When you’re an elite player in this league, you want to stand up for yourself. He’s strong on the puck -- he’s pretty impressive in what he’s done.” Yes, John Tavares has done a lot of growing up this season. And as Jiggs and Butch questioned, so why HASN’T John been called by Hockey Canada yet?

So have a lot of other youngsters thrown into roles they wouldn’t have had if not for the Islanders run of bad luck.

Rick doesn‘t like to lose. Especially in his home town in front of family and friends. In the locker room he told Rob Carlin “I thought we played well. There were a couple bad bounces in the 2nd period. But, I thought we played well. When you have six weeks off midway through a season, it’s tough to get back when you’re not playing every night. All you can do is work your hardest and hope everything works out.”

So on to Friday’s match-up against the Penguins. All eyes around the league will be on that game, but according to the Isles squad “It’s another game. We’ll play hard. We expect our best effort.” Period.

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