And sometimes - that lining is draped in a Ranger jersey.
Boo hoo! Isles beat the sinister Rangers!
Guess having the best record in the NHL doesn't guarantee a win against the team with the worst record. Just goes to show you - with some of these rivalries, throw the stats out the window, all bets are off. These teams "get up" to play one another.
OK - I am not delusional, I know the Isles didn't necessarily outplay their evil sibling to the west. But sometimes being lucky is better than being good, and lucky the Isles were. When was the last time they got 2 shorties in a game? It also looked like the Isles win helped continue the start of a slide for the girls in blue. NYRs have lost 4 of the last 5 - gives me a reason the smile.
Today - this blog comes to you live from the Isles v. Broadstreet Bullies. Although at 4-6-3, they look less like bullies and more like what comes out of the back of a bull. Isles come into today's game after yet ANOTHER 3rd period collapse. I hear Wang is petitioning the Bd of Governors to change the rules to make the games only 2 periods. If that was the case - Isles record would be 7-6-1 instead of 4-8-2; and they would be one point behind the Devils for 3rd place instead of dead last in the east. The Isles have allowed a staggering 21 goals in the 3rd period and have been outscored by a two-to-one margin. Maybe Witt & Martinek would help. But I still think they need someone who is a true sniper - and this team doesn't have one.
The OT loss to Cindy Crosby & the Penguins over the weekend was just depressing. Most telling - being out shot in the 3rd period by a margin of 18-1. I must confess - as games enter the 3rd period I am fairly confident they will lose. Not a good mindset. If I had the answers - I'd be behind the bench instead of ranting behind this screen.
Today - military appreciation day. Nice! Isles have done a great job acknowledging these fine men & women who kick ass around the world while wearing Old Glory on their shoulders and the hopes & fears of loved ones in their hearts. Take a moment today - and thank a vet. Gen. Colin Powell (wouldn't it be nicer to say Pres. Elect Powell, or VP Elect Powell instead of just General?) dropped the ceremonial puck to open the game. Army guys rappelling from the rafters & the Air Force brass band playing the Anthem - gives you the ole lump in the throat. Kudos to the Isles for putting on a good show. One side note - the little "military" costumes the ice girls are wearing should do wonders for recruitment into the armed forces. Grrrowl.
Big news to start the game - - Comrie is out - he of the pathetic 2 goals & $4 mill in salary. Good grief, Streit, Sim and HILBERT all have more goals. In his place - rookie 1st rd pick - Bailey. He is playing on the 4th line with Sim and Jackman so he probably won't have too many chances or too much ice time. He did pop his "penalty cherry" by getting called for hooking at about 9:00 into the first period. All-in-all, the first period was fairly even with the Isles having a few more scoring chances and a 5 on 3 power play that they did NOTHING with. On to the 2d period.
Bailey makes a few nifty passes with the puck & seems to possess that intangible "awareness" of the whole ice. Tambellini on the other hand - can't buy a goal. Isles are expecting him to contribute - and no goals and one assist in 12 games is just not enough. Early prediction here - he doesn't finish the season as an Isle. He'll either be gone in a trade or playing for Bridgeport. He had another great chance in this period & buried into Biron's chest. One positive - I like the D-pairing of Campoli & Gervais. They are poised, tough, and responsible in their own end. Sutton - another great hit at the blue line. Then again - this isn't the 3rd period so they should still be playing well.
They get their second 5 on 3 power play - and they are equally sucky. Then, less then a minute after the PP ends - BANG, goal for Briere. With only 6 minutes left in the 2d the Isles must be trying to start their 3rd period misery early. Well - at least they go into the 3rd period without the possibility of blowing a lead.
Okposo, Hilbert, and Bailey now on a line together. Isles just cannot establish a sustained attack. Oops - late in the period Flyers get a shorty. Roll up the carpet, close the door & turn off the lights - this one is over folks. Of course Hunter gives the fans a tease by breaking the shut out & making it a 2-1 game with under 4 minutes to play. No confidence they'll pull it out. In the end - I am right.
Joey MacDonald looked good. But this game was all about the SPECIAL TEAMS play - or lack thereof. Some startling stats:
Isles were 0-8 on PP
They gave up a shorty
They were 0-2 on the 5-3 PP.
Even sadder - they never really even established a sustained attack.
Be interesting to see what Gordon has to say about this effort.
Next up: More Gripes.