Kevin Schultz, Islanders Point Blank:The Islanders won today’s game in overtime. Well, until they lost it again in the shootout.
After blowing leads of 2-0 and 3-2, the Islanders managed to get a goal in overtime to secure the win. Or so everyone thought. The MSG broadcast was convinced it was a good goal, as were the Islanders, the refs who ruled it a goal, and even St. Louis’ netminder, Jaroslav Halak, who skated off. But the play was sent to Toronto for review (or did Toronto phone in?) and Thomas Vanek’s apparent winner was overturned. I can’t explain how, it looked awfully good to me as well. Here’s the leagues, er, “explanation“.
“I thought it was a terrible call,” Thomas Vanek said after the game. “I don’t know if it’s who we are. If that’s Pittsburgh or some of those top teams, maybe that’s a goal.”
So now the talk turns to the Islanders being screwed by the refs (the refs called it a good goal, remember) and the NHL hates the Islanders and someone or something is out to get them. I get it. It’s understandable and justified when a call is so, so blatantly wrong. If you think there’s a but coming, you are correct.
The Islanders found a way to blow yet another lead. They shouldn’t have been in overtime in the first place. Hell, the way the third period unfolded with the St. Louis Blues hitting three (!) posts, the Islanders could have even lost in regulation. They blew leads of 2-0 and 3-2 with the final dagger coming with 27 second left in the final period.
Here’s a rather amazing stat:
In today’s third period, they were absolutely hemmed into their own zone for the latter half of the third period. But a rough estimate, the Blues led the Isles in shot attempts 13-3 in the final ten minutes of the third. The Blues hit a bunch of posts. The Isles also got bailed out by Kevin Poulin making a ridiculous save:
So the Islanders got screwed, yes.
The Islanders also did themselves in (again), yes.