8:15 pm – Just got home from the game. 2-1 Philadelphia. Islanders fail to control play and pull Martin Biron for entire final minute.
Minus: Faced with a gift-wrapped holiday homestand, the Islanders have as many wins on the island of Manhattan as in the Town of Hempstead. Wins against Boston and Toronto. Losses: Florida (blowout), Rangers, Montreal (shutout), Tampa Bay (ouch) and now Philadelphia.
Minus: The Flyers received a pair of goal-scorers’ goals from Daniel Briere and Jeff Carter. The Islanders don’t really have any veterans who can finish like that.
Minus: The Flyers have won 13 straight over the Islanders.
Minus: The game was fairly even, but the final seven minutes were a disaster. The final minute, when the Islanders were unable to pull their goalie, was a train-wreck.
Minus: This is completely unfair, just as it will be completely unfair next year if it comes to this, but John Tavares looks like he is either hurting or needs a rest. It is so unfortunate that everyone looks to him, but that’s life when you’re a first overall pick and goal scoring phenom without an experienced NHLer to play with.
Even: Blake Comeau has been the best player on the Moulson-Tavares-Comeau line.
Plus: Tonight’s early-bird-supper crowd was a fun blend of families and rowdies. They were dying for something to cheer for. What a downer this homestand turned out to be.
Minus: It’s Good to Be The Pronger: you only get called for every fourth infraction. Watch the tape of today’s game. With two minutes left, Pronger cross-checked Kyle Okposo right in front of the ref. No call.
Minus: It’s Not Easy Being Sim: the Islanders’ pest gets Avery-ed. Nine out of ten times Sim gets roughed up, the refs either look away or grin.
Minus: This Martin Biron thing is really becoming a phenomenon.
Plus: Trent Hunter played one helluva game.
Minus: No, the Islanders will not be getting Jeff Carter in a salary cap trade. I think any window of opportunity in the NHL for Carter closed in the summer of 2007.
Minus: Maybe I noticed it even more because I wrote this morning about Mark Streit not having a goal since Nov. 13 and Andrew MacDonald having the only goal by an Islanders defenseman since. Maybe I noticed it more because today we sat third row behind the net where the Islanders attacked twice. Maybe I don’t have a lot of faith in my pals in the official scorer’s box, who only “credited” the Islanders with nine missed shots. But holy crap did Mark and the blueline boys miss the net a lot today.
Plus: Like my kids say all the time, the standing ovation for returning war heroes “never gets old.”
Minus: Hate spineless officiating. Jackman swipes Carcillo – ref’s arm stays at his side. Carcillo punches Jackman – ref’s arm is raised. Carcillo and Jackman both go in the box. Illogical, unprofessional, gutless.
Plus: NHL video review got another one right.
Minus: Never a good night for the home team when I have to resort to crediting the guys in Toronto.
Comments and your Plus/Minus on today’s game. Islanders off on Monday.