AVALANCHE 4, ISLANDERS 3 OT A Lesson in Poor Finishing, Poor Refereeing

The refereeing tonight in Denver was atrocious. Late in the third of a close game, Marty Reasoner skated off after being injured away from the play. A nasty cross-check missed by the referees was the culprit. With Al Montoya getting run all night, the referees took matters into their own hand with a bizarre high sticking penalty against the Islanders netminder in overtime. That would decide the game as the Avs cashed in on the ensuing power play.

However, the Islanders dug the hole for themselves. An iffy penalty call on Jay Pandolfo late in the second created a 5-on-3 that the Avalanche took advantage of cutting the lead to 3-1 at the second intermission. The Islanders would surrender the rest of the lead during a third period that saw them hemmed into their own zone for the vast majority of the period. Two goals that Al Montoya would like to have back later and the lead was gone. As nice as the first two periods were where the Isles jumped all over the home team, the tables got turned in the third as the team completely wilted on the road.

The post-game was just as erroneous and bizarre for the Long Island crew on the ice as it was in the broadcast booth and on Twitter. An eager twitterer started a rumor of a potential trade which was retweeted by the team’s beat writer and then quoted on the MSG post-game broadcast. The broadcast team had Jiggs McDonald cite the two persons above on air at the conclusion of the game. After the ensuing commercial break and on the internet, there was an awkward back pedaling from all parties involved. Hard to believe where folks so close to the team are getting their info.

5 minuses- Referees, see above.

10 Minuses- The entire third period for the Isles. After two solid periods, it was absolutely inexcusable. It reeked of a lack of leadership and energy.

+ Josh Bailey winning an offensive zone face off then going to the net and finding Gandalf Mark Streit the power play wizard’s shot-pass for the goal. Should be a nice confidence boost for a guy who needs it.

– That 13 games in Josh Bailey has more goals than Kyle Okposo.

+ The sort of reappearance of Kyle Okposo. The Comeau-Reasoner-Okposo line, while not on the scoresheet, has some great possession shifts during the first two periods.

+ 1-800-BIG-CUBANO with and unbelievable 47 saves. Yes, the middle two goals against were bad goals to give up and let the Avs back in it. It’s hard to fault him too much on a night when he was allowed faced 51 shots.

– Keep in mind the Islanders also were credited with blocking 24 shots. Allowing 75 attempts is way, way, way too many.

+ Matt Martin fully embracing the tough guy role on the team by coming to John Tavares’ aid. The play on Tavares’ wasn’t anything particularly outlandish until Wilson decided he needed to get on top on JT91.

– The unfortunate part of Martin picking up this role is that he ends up spending a solid portion on the game in the box.

+ Michael Grabner with numerous solo breakaways, scoring a goal on a 3-on-1 on a pretty feed from Matt Moulson.

– Michael Grabner not cashing in on aforementioned solo breakaways.

– The entire third period. Did I mention is was awful?