Kevin Schultz, Islanders Point Blank:Last night the Islanders snatched defeat from the jaws of victory with a 3-2 come from ahead loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning. The general consensus around Twitter and blogs seems to be that the Islanders played well — even controlled play — for 57 minutes. But 57 minutes does not make a game, so the Lightning popped two in the net in the final three minutes to send things to overtime.
The second goal came with only 3.8 seconds left on the clock and created the made scramble and/or car wreck that you see on the right side. The Islanders really did a good job clearing the zone and keeping the Lightning from getting much of any opportunity while Tampa had their goalie pulled. That is, of course until the last 15 seconds or so when they were able to break in, get a good opportunity and create the fire drill that ultimately led to the tying goal.
So, the Islanders are now at 14 losses in 16 games, no regulation wins in any of those. Eric Hornick says that it’s the longest streak in franchise history with no regulation wins, besting a 15-game stretch during the inaugural 1972-73 season. We can officially say that the franchise is at a low point.
Looking for some more sad trivia? Newsday says last night was the ninth blown third period lead of the season. Another six or seven wins, and this is a completely different streak and season right now.
Good efforts are nice but they are not points in the standings. Last night did earn one point, but yet again it’s another blown win and missed point. The Isles were three minutes away from a regulation win, something to build on after a solid effort Saturday night and coughed it up.
Nothing changes, same as it’s been for the last month plus, so we continue along the same way. No closer to anything resembling a turn around.
One of the interesting things last night was watching Ben Bishop, who seems to be a fine goaltender. Bishop has played 26 of 34 games for Tampa Bay this season and has been excellent. He’s got a .934 SVP and 1.96 GAA and had some nice AHL numbers as well the past three years; .928, .930 and .914.
Bishop was Ottawa Senators property last year and was stuck behind Craig Anderson, who was playing out of his mind, and Robin Lehrner another good young goaltender the Senators pegged to succeed Anderson. So, that left them looking to move Bishop.
Even though Bishop had excellent AHL numbers and was good in (limited) NHL appearances, no one wanted to take a chance. Tampa was desperate for a goalie last year. Anders Lindback and Mathieu Garon were not cutting it, so they went for Bishop and apparently Ottawa was having a fire sale. They let Bishop go for Cory Conacher (undrafted free agent with minimal experience and a little upside) and a fourth round pick.
Hindsight is always 20/20, but that’s an awfully low price for the success story Bishop has turned out to be for Tampa thus far. And looking at his AHL numbers, there were certainly some warning signs that this could happen. Of course you don’t expect a .925ish AHL SVP to translate to +930 in the NHL, probably some variance there, but you do expect that to translate into a competent or at least average NHL netminder.
Evgeni Nabokov, very blunt in the post-game interview:
Also: You can watch the first episode of HBO’s 24/7 with the Wings and Leafs here. It’s always a must watch…