ISLANDERS 2, WILD 1 SO

The Islanders got a much needed two points and confidence boost during a sixty-five-minutes-plus-skills-competition effort against a banged up Minnesota Wild team. There really wasn’t much bad in this game, save for one egregious turnover from Mark Streit. The way the game went, that really shouldn’t have even factored in. The Islanders outshot the Wild 36-21 and were in control for the majority of the game. A few bounces here or a little luck there against Niklas Backstrom who was solid in net for the Wild and it could have easily been 3-1. The team is still one point off dead last in the conference, so the hole is still deep but enjoy the win nonetheless.

KEEP MSG ON THE >>@#ERRRRR

Sorry. Not sure what happened there. Technical difficulties. Anyway, the Islanders held a 1-0 lead after two periods, outshooting Minnesota 24-9 during that time. They largely controlled the play and Al Montoya could be seen relaxing in a hammock in the defensive zone (That was one of the few questions unanswered tonight, how Montoya would respond after a couple sub-par games. He wasn’t really tested aside from the shootout and maybe overtime. He shook off the shootout attempts like they were flies, so we’ll give him the benefit of doubt). In his first game back, Andy MacDonald would notch a goal midway through the second on a laser from the top of the circle. It started like many of the Islanders chances did, with the top line getting the puck in deep behind Wild defenders and making them and Backstrom scramble to recover.

The Wild would mount a much better effort in the third, finally getting themselves together. The Islanders handled the charge much better than they have in previous games. Maybe that’s due to the lack of real weapons at the opposition’s disposal and the poor deployment of the one they did have (Dany Heatley, one shot). The Wild evened the score with 11:38 to go with really one of the only mistakes — if not the only mistake — of the game for the Isles.

TIME W@RNER HATES SPORTS()J@ND

Why the heck does that keep happening? Anyway, Streit had the puck come to him on a pass from Al Montoya behind the net. He quickly and oddly knocked it between his legs to the middle of the ice where he expected Marty Reasoner to be. Instead, it ended up on Cal Clutterbuck’s stick and in the back of the net. I think it’s safe to say he won’t be trying that again.

After an entertaining overtime period full of rushes going both ways, the game headed to a shootout and the hometown Wild elected to shoot first. Al Montoya would coolly stop both Matt Cullen and Marek Zidlicky, the first two shooters for the Wild. Frans Nielsen then skated onto the ice for the Islanders and did exactly what Frans Nielsen does — his patented deke to the backhand. It beat Backstrom and was the game winner after Dany Healthy was stopped by Montoya.

Notes:
- Someone needs to GIF the Grabner shorthanded breakaway in the second period because LIGHT SPEED.
- Another game where John Tavares did everything but score a goal. No complaints here.
- On HNL, Al Trautwig called Cal Clutterbuck’s look ‘from the gay 90s or something.’ Still trying to figure that one out.
- Did you know Time Warner and MSG are in a fight?

Let’s all come back to earth on Streit
I made this point on Twitter earlier but I’ll say it on the blog too. Let’s all stop with trading Streit, scratching him, removing the C — whatever the ideas are. Real NHL hockey teams don’t do any of those things to their captain in the middle of the season. The Islanders, last time I checked, are a real NHL hockey team in the middle of a season. Are you tired of having the Islanders treated like second class citizens in the mainstream hockey media? OK, then don’t undermine or embarrass your captain by doing any of those things. It’s unprofessional, minor league and isn’t happening.

Streit isn’t playing well right now but this team cannot afford to lose one of it’s best defenders. Pushing the eject button on a little slump isn’t solving anything and is going to make things harder in the long run. To add to that, think about how much UFAs don’t want to come here already and add “the organization embarrassed the captain” to that sales pitch. Doesn’t work on any level, really.




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