5:30 pm, The NVMC - The Game: Another game the Islanders dominated in puck possession and scoring chances, another loss – in part because of their inability to finish, in large part because of their own power play.
One minute after the Islanders failed to score on a full two-minute, 5-on-3 power play, Daniel Briere came down the right side with Brett Skinner in front of him and fluttered a shot past Joey MacDonald for the 1-0 Flyers lead at 13:40 of the second. Mike Richards scored shorthanded mid-third.
The Islanders first unit power play, out for a big chunk of the 5-on-3 and for the shortie against in the third: Doug Weight and Mark Streit on the point, Bill Guerin, Trent Hunter and Frans Nielsen at forward.
Martin Biron, Islanders killer, struck again with 35 saves. The Islanders are now 2-6-1 at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
Power Play: Philadelphia 0-4, Islanders 0-8; Shots on goal: Philadelphia 32, Islanders 36.
No. 2 Story: Islanders 2008 first round pick Josh Bailey made his NHL debut. He centered a line with Jon Sim and Tim Jackman and played 12:30, including 3:01 on the power play. He was 7-4 on faceoffs and took two minor penalties, include a high-stick late. Bailey led the Islanders out for warmups.
No. 3 Story: Mike Comrie missed today’s game with a hip injury, called “nothing major” by Scott Gordon. The center missed yesterday’s practice to visit doctors about the hip that was surgically repaired in the offseason. Officially, the team has labeled Comrie “day-to-day.”
Radek Martinek sat out another game with his shoulder injury.
Scott Gordon: ”We controlled the play 5-on-5 but the power play was the difference. That may have been as close to a 60-minute effort as we’ve had, but it’s tough to put a positive on a game like that.”
(on Josh Bailey’s debut): “He looked like he belonged. Outside of the penalties, I can’t be too critical of anything he did. He didn’t do anything to make us think he couldn’t play at this level.”
Joey MacDonald: “The power play has to out-work the penalty kill, and today I don’t think it did.”
Josh Bailey: “When the coach shows confidence in you like that, you get confidence as well.”
(On how long he expects to be here this season): “I know the team has my best interests at heart. Regardless of what happens, it’s not going to be a bad thing.”
3 Standout Islanders (Not Named Stars):
Sean Bergenheim: Created plays, forced Flyers turnovers, hit people. If you’re going to go down, good to go down fighting like Bergenheim.
Trent Hunter: The most consistently good Islanders veteran this season.
Josh Bailey: The 19-year old did not look out of place in his first NHL game. Great kid, so good for him.
What We Learned Today:
- Could be time for a change on the first-unit power play, starting with Chris Campoli at one of the points alongside Mark Streit.
- For the second time in two weeks, we’ve seen an opposing defender make an impossibly awful behind-the-back pass in his own end, proving the forecheck can be a nightmare when on all cylinders. Today was Matt Carle’s turn. Two weeks ago it was Dmitri Kalinin of the Rangers.
Game Rating (out of 5 stars): 2.5 - The matinee crowd certainly did not seem into it for long stretches, and we can’t blame them.
Islanders Performance: 2.0 - No extra credit for being better than the other team 5-on-5 but not scoring until 56:20 in.
Event Rating: 5.0 - General Colin Powell and Islanders owner Charles Wang took part in the ceremonial opening faceoff on Veterans Day and Islanders Military Awareness Day. Soldiers rapelled from the Coliseum ceiling down to center ice to present the flag. Care package donations were accepted for the Wounded Warriors. It was all beautifully done.
This was the second time this calendar year that Powell, a friend of Wang’s, has been to an Islanders game at the Coliseum. Earlier this year he dropped the puck on Martin Luther King Day.
Official Attendance: 13,447
Losing Ground Fast: The Islanders are now 2-8-2 this season against the Eastern Conference, 1-3-2 against teams in their division.
Just Sayin’: Jeff Tambellini, 0 goals; Kyle Okposo 1 goal.
Just Keepin’ it…While you don’t want to reward lack of production, it’s not like the veteran options are tearing it up. Why not give Tambellini, Okposo and (gasp!) the deserving Andy Hilbert more power play time?
Scouts in Attendance: Florida, Vancouver, Minnesota, Pittsburgh.
Lots of Islanders scouts here to see Josh Bailey, including assistant GM Ryan Jankowski, Eric Cairns and Toby O’Brien.
Ex-Isle News: Shawn Bates made his season debut today for HIFK Helsinki in the Finnish League.
Islanders Press Coverage: Greg Logan, Arthur Staple and Katie Strang of Newsday, Dan Martin of the Post, Brian Bohl of the Daily News.
Next Up: The Islanders have a home-and-home with Daniel Alfredsson and the Ottawa Senators - in Canada on Thursday, in New York on Saturday.
Next Monday night at the Coliseum it’s Roberto Luongo and the Vancouver Canucks.
Bergenheim - Weight – Guerin
Hilbert - Park – Okposo
Tambellini - Nielsen – Hunter
Sim - Bailey – Jackman
Sutton - Streit
Campoli – Gervais
Pock - Skinner
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