It was going to be one of those typical NY Islanders games against the Flyers. It was a given with Bryzgalov in net for the Flyers that the Isles would have no chance. Okay, add Jagr's tendency to score effortlessly against the Isles not matter who THEY have in net and -- yeah. I was expecting the loss.
I was not disappointed. They fell 3-2, but it could have been 3 - 0 and was up until the stunning last 6:53 minutes.
While Jack Capuano said he thought they played a pretty good first period, PA Parenteau thought they lacked passion and energy and it cost them. Capuano called the first two goals "gifts." They were defensive breakdown giveaways that cost them.
The Isles didn't play the way they wanted or needed to, but there were still bright spots along with the mistakes. However, there was only one player who tried to spur them on and bring them to life; Matt Martin.
When I went into the locker room it was busy and crowded so there was noise. But it wasn't the noise I usually hear after a win. This was just that -- noise. Every player was in the dressing room and Mark Streit was doing interviews in English and something else. I couldn't tell what it was. Parenteau had the camera lights glaring on him while everyone else crowded around Stan Fischler and the MSG cameras.
There was one reporter with John Tavares and one with Andy MacDonald. I was tripping over hockey bags getting ready for the trip even though they're not leaving until tomorrow after practice.
I bugged my go-to-guy, Matt Moulson and asked him what was different in the last six minutes. Matt's demeanour has changed. Losing is really effecting him.
"We had guys going to the net, getting shots. I don't know. We had a lot of zone time during the game, so maybe we finally wore them out." It's evident, Matt's a little worn out. The resident Iron Man could really use a break -- or a win.
When I asked him how important it was for them to hear the crowd get into the game, he said "Without Matt Martin -- I mean, he was the only one getting the crowd into the game for awhile. It would have been nice to get that energy earlier. Got a goal earlier and got the crowd going, but...yeah, we fed off that for a bit at the end there." I shut the recorder and left him to the others.
Matt Martin was standing talking to MacDonald and Hamonic. He had already been int he tunnel signing his green practice jersey for someone. That was probably why every player was in the room. I asked Martin about his fight with Simmonds and what prompted it. I was a little surprised.
"I know Simmonds a little bit from Junior and we fought before in LA." I asked Matt if he felt Simmons was expecting it. "He actually challenged me and at that point, I have a lot of respect for him and I think he has a lot of respect for me. I played against him in junior and got to know him a little bit on the side so. There's no friends on the ice, but there's definitely no beef between us."
The change in momentum was Michael Grabner's goal shutting down Bryzgalov's shut out streak that had been carrying over for way too long. Once the first one went by, the second came right on it's heels.
Matt felt the fans were great in the last few minutes and really helped them get going.
Sadly, they didn't get the final results they wanted. A win.
Jack Capuano's post game was short. Very short. But rather than think that it was Jack who had nothing to say, I'll go with the media has nothing left to ask him. How many times and how many ways can you ask "what went wrong?"
I didn't see it but I was told that JT took the marker from Jack during the time out to draw up something on the dry erase board for the last play. When I came home and asked my family, I was a little surprised at what I heard about that as well.
While the Big Angry Man said he was yelling and cursing at the TV asking what Jack thought they could do with the few seconds that remained when they couldn't do anything for the first 40 minutes, the Brat Baby said Jack took the board and said "This is a doodle of my cat and John said, it's a very nice cat Jack."