11:30 pm – Congratulations to Doug Weight on scoring his 1,000th National Hockey League point. Weight reached the milestone with an assist on Richard Park’s goal to make it 5-3 late in the third period.
Lovely touch by the Phoenix Coyotes organization for being on the ball and making the announcement, especially with Doug’s family in the crowd.
Weight later assisted on another Park goal to make it 5-4 with 28 seconds remaining.
The Josh Bailey Goal Watch: Is over in game 25. Thankfully.
PB reader Peter F. proposed a hypothetical that did not happen but was still fascinating. Let’s say Doug Weight got his 1,000th point on an assist on Josh Bailey’s first NHL goal. Who would have taken home the puck?
Great question. Pretty sure Bailey would have graciously given it up.
Let’s assume, for argument’s sake, Rick DiPietro is 100% healthy (I know, folks, I know). I’ve yet to find a sports medicine expert (not associated with the NYI) who’ll declare it makes any sense to completely shut him down for the season – as recommended by several PB readers and more than a few writers. But there is every reason to put the breaks on the self-proclaimed “impatient” Olympian.
Seriously, is there any case for playing DiPietro more than just every other game for the rest of the way?
Really, what would be the point of him playing any more – to get back in the playoff race, 14 points out of 8th place and with six teams between the Islanders and Pittsburgh?
Uh, I actually can’t think of any other possible reasons.
The Islanders have Joey MacDonald, who looks like he can be much more than a 15-game backup. If DiPietro – bad third goal tonight – or Mac get hurt and if there isn’t much faith in Yann Danis, last I checked Dubie was very much available.
Everything should be about the season after this, and the season after that. The rehabilitation of Rick DiPietro should be no different.
A Rebuild Further Along: Congratulations to Don Maloney, Wayne Gretzky and the Phoenix Coyotes on a successful year 2 (or is it 3?) of their rebuild. With Peter Mueller (8-16-24), Martin Hanzel (9-11-20), Mikkel Boedker (7-11-18) and Kyle Turris (5-7-12) and solid defense and goaltending, they are on the way in a very tough Western Conference. Don’t know if it will be this year, but the Coyotes are very much on their way.
Wasn’t Mueller: A source corrected a note I had recently that ex-Islanders GM Neil Smith had Peter Mueller rated just behind the chosen Kyle Okposo. The Islanders took Okposo 7th overall, while the Coyotes took Mueller 8th. Turns out the prospect Neil and the staff had ranked behind Okposo was not Mueller, but defenseman Bobby Sanguinetti, taken 21st overall by the Rangers.
Low-Def: Was it just my TV, or did the game look like it was played under little lighting and before cameras from the 1970s?
No Rush: Kirill Petrov, the Islanders’ celebrated third round pick from last June, is bound by contract to play in the Kontinental Hockey League for two more seasons. By the looks of his play in the World Junior Championships, Petrov is at least two years away from being ready for North America anyway.
In fairness to the kid, he’s just coming off an injury that kept him out of the lineup for two months. Petrov remains our No. 1-ranked Islanders prospect in terms of upside potential, but it appears the Islanders may have to wait on his availability and development.
Speaking of the WJC, one scout told me tonight that – great Slovakian goaltending notwithstanding – Team USA’s performance is their quarterfinal loss was “disgraceful.”
Jiggs & Billy: Nice pairing on the Plus Minus broadcast with Jiggs McDonald and Billy Jaffe. Jiggs is, of course, an awesome Hall of Famer, but what really makes it work is his newness to the current club has him asking The Jaff a lot of questions. This brings out the best in Billy.
For example, in the first period Jaffe raved about a play Jeff Tambellini made and said “Islander fans have to be real happy about that.” Jiggs didn’t leave it at that. He asked, “How so”? and The Jaff gave a point-by-point anaylsis on what Tambellini did right. As Mariusz Czerkawski used to say, “That’s good s–t.”
Saturday is Point Blank, Up All Night: At the suggestion of a few readers, we’re going to try a semi-all-nighter. Beginning at 10:00 pm on Saturday and continuing through the Islanders-Sharks matchup until about 1:00 am, we’ll be here at our laptop responding to your civil Comments during the game.
We’re calling it “Point Blank: Up All Night.” Stay tuned tomorrow for a few minor details.
“New York Hockey This Week” with the “informative and entertaining” Don La Greca (so said Phil Mushnick) and me will be on Saturday from 5:30 – 6:30 pm. Guests include Jiggs McDonald.