Kyle Okposo Scores OT Winner, Fans Chant “USA, USA” (VIDEO)

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Kevin Schultz

10:00pm:
John Tavares with just about the most colorful quote you’ll ever hear from him: “I don’t know if [Okposo] thought David Poile’s head was in the net and he was aiming for it…”

Poile is the Nashville Predators GM and in charge of assembling Team USA.

Lost in the shuffle tonight was the Islanders blowing a two-goal lead at home — we’ve heard that one before — but instead they pushed forward through the third period and into overtime and didn’t relent. I’m not sure whether it was a change in strategy or a change in attitude but they certainly played to win down the stretch, especially once Chicago had tied up the game. If you take a look at the fenwick chart, it sort of shows that with the Isles plateauing early in the third then outpacing Chicago throughout the final minutes and overtime.

Ryan Strome had his best game yet as an Islander even though he didn’t find the scoresheet. He had six shots on goal and linemate Brock Nelson had another three.

Evgeni Nabokov is en fuego since returning with injury and helped win the game for the Islanders tonight. Nabokov stopped 37 of 38 even strength shots. With basically the same defense as Poulin/Nilsson had in front of them, with the exception of Brian Strait, it’s also some evidence against the Islanders younger netminders.

The Islanders are now on a three game win streak and have won five of seven. What a difference from where they were a month ago. Unfortunately for them, the Flyers have won four in a row and the Islanders have made up no ground in the Metro Division. They’re still nine points back.

Original post: You cannot write a script like this. What a finish.

The Islanders played probably their best game of the year tonight, taking the Blackhawks to overtime. In the extra session it was who else but Kyle Okposo scoring the game winner. The Coliseum crowd that braved the snowstorm erupted into chants of “USA, USA!” Okposo then caught up with Peter Ruttgaizer for the post-game interview, saying he had chills.

Enough words, just watch:

Do we need a full recap for this? We may not need a full recap for this.




144 comments
Gary Chapin
Gary Chapin

In other news Dustin Brown takes out player with knee and LA fans chant USA USA USA

neeza06
neeza06

On aside rumors out now that the Pens are interested in acquiring Moulson. thats a scary thought and a place he could thrive. Imagine a line with Neal, a healthy Malkin, and moulson. very scary thought and i think a perfect fit for moulsons game. He doesnt have to worry about a single thing but getting in the traffic area and jamming home rebounds and finishing beautiful setups on the doorstep (which is the only thing hes good at, and REALLY good at as a matter of fact). 


I will say one thing i didnt take into account is moulson signing with an established eastern conference foe and haunting the islanders (although he wont be staying in Pitt unless he plans on playing for $3 mil a year or less) If he ends up their he could finish the season with more points than vanek and then the boxscore isles fans will be screaming that we traded him and wont even take into account that he would be at BEST the 6th or 7th best forward on that penguins team.

jepliberty
jepliberty

Sssshhhh, all this lauding of DeHahn may get Snow to thinking of trading him, be afraid, be very afraid.

orange2327
orange2327

They must beat the canes tomorrow and in regulation!!

millhouse
millhouse

Watching hockey has become enjoyable again, gotta keep it going

jpizzy
jpizzy

Such a shame nabby got hurt, i think we all underestimate what he means to the team, especially in the locker room. For all the problems this team has. If they could just learn to hold a lead, none of us would have anything to complain about.

shlo
shlo

I loved JT 's remark. Now let's see if the league fines him for disrespecting a GM.............

doc942
doc942

I hate to be off topic… especially after the Islanders have buried themselves again this season with an awful stretch of games that may or may not keep them out of the playoffs… but for all the bashing that Snow takes… I also like to give him credit sometimes.  de Haan, Cizikas, Martin, Strome, Pullock, Reinhart, Nelson, Hamonic and others are all pretty good prospects. I know i know… he's missed a few… but I think he's done a very good job drafting.

orange2327
orange2327

Maybe the hawks can do us a favor and beat the devils tonite and the pens ditto the rags!! Let's face it we are gonna need these teams along with the flyers/cbj to lose games too!!

Zach Bosh
Zach Bosh

I am disgusted over the Okposo snub. Absolutely sick. This is coming from a long time Penguins fan at that. I cant imagine how the Islander faithful feels.

erika
erika

P-E-R-F-E-C-T!!!!

Okie= veeeeery easy to root for!


Solid 3 games against top opponents.

dv92
dv92

Feel bad for okie, especially when he said the chants "gave him chills." You can tell the guy desperately wanted to be on the team. His performance last night was a nice big F-you to Poile. Other than that, the team looked reaaaally good last night. De Haan was the best defensive surprise this year and Strome has looked really steady also. Just a matter of time before he breaks out. Lets go Isles!

truth77
truth77

@neeza06  Glad we agree with dehann ,I said he remind me of a young Brian Leetch the way he passes the puck.Not that he is Brian Leetch but the styles are amazing puck moves so smooth off his stick and crisp.I think he is going to start scoring he is getting comfortable out there on the ice.

bubbamac19
bubbamac19

Wow - when it comes to the islanders and poetic justice, the thinking among most of us is "never the two shall meet"... So isn't it wonderful that this player on this team on this night got a small taste of it? Feels pretty good as a fan!

truth77
truth77

This is the way they should have played all year,effort 100 percent ,even if they lose you are entertained .This is what people pay their hard earned money to see.Great effort! Calvin Dehann has been solid since he has been called up,the guy can really pass the puck,nice to see him come back from horrible injuries. He is a lot stronger then I  thought, if you watch he uses the body, he is not what I call a stick checker , we have had to many stick checkers over the last decade.

chasct
chasct

What is the Isles team record with Strait in the lineup this year? And same question for Nabby?

gleichzahl
gleichzahl

no need to talk of blown leads and fenwick charts.  these were the league champions and they're not going quietly into the night.  the key was after they tied the game.  at that point either the blackhawks just keep on rolling and it ends 5-2, or the islanders fight back.

turns out the comeback took a lot out of chicago, and the islanders played a good third period.  there was a little luck involved, as chicago could have scored earlier without having to burn so much energy, but as it turned out they didn't have enough left at the end.

Jim Miller
Jim Miller

Kyle, awesome game, Nabby, ditto. Real nice progress with Strome, just a matter of time for this kid to break out.

puckznpadz
puckznpadz

47 ranked in NHL - Thomas Vanek BUF, NYIL 39 games 14g 18a 32pts  (+1) plus minus

87 ranked in NHL - Matt Moulson NYI, BUFL 39 games 13g 13a 26pts ( -6) plus minus


and Vanek showed last night that he is a lot stronger on the puck then MM.  

puckznpadz
puckznpadz

Bailey just seems lost... had a good spurt last season but he constantly seems like he is struggling to find his way.  Bailey needed to be sat and the injury forced Cappy's hand because he had no intentions of sitting him.  


How many years do you hold on to a guy in hopes of seeing his full potential?  He can be a top 6 forward but does not constantly play like one.  He has gotten top line and second line minutes and still struggles.  Its time to cut the cord and use him to get defensive help.  dont think he has enough draw to get us the goalie we need.


JT's quote was awesome...Show that our Captain does have an edge and is not afraid to express his opinion.  

puckznpadz
puckznpadz

“I don’t know if [Okposo] thought David Poile’s head was in the net and he was aiming for it…”  Awesome...Bailey out and Isles win...Does anyone else not miss Josh Bailey???  3-1 in the last four is something to build on. Go Isles.

neeza06
neeza06

saying bailey being out is why this team is winning is as silly as the people who where saying that we went on a terrible loosing streak because we got rid of moulsen or our defense is bad becasue we didnt resign streit.  It holds about as much water as we wont 2 in a row because jiggs was in the booth and not howie rose. bottom line is the second line still has ZERO points at even strength during this streak with bailey out (Neilsen has a PP goal and Clutterbuck got a goal while out with the third line)  


we have won because the first line is on fire again, the third and fourth lines have really picked up their play. defense has been a bit more steady with strait coming back (de Haan is still learning to play in his own zone but his puck moving ability is incredible and cannot be understated) and Nabokov is hands down a lot more steady goaltender then poulin ( poulin can play lights out at times but when hes off his rebound control is atrocious) Not saying if bailey comes back the second line starts scoring because they havent all season but hes been no worse then grabner who has only played about 4 or 5 solid games all season (and he had a bad one tonight if you really paid attention). 


the second line has played about the same with bailey out. mostly responsible defensively with very little to no offense.

doc942
doc942

Why would Snow trade de Haan? Because he's playing well? So along those same lines of thought, Snow is thinking about trading Tavares and Vanek and Okposo and Nielsen and Hamonic as well?

Jason Zimmermann
Jason Zimmermann

@millhouse It's always tough to watch with the draft picks at the front of your mind. 7-3 stretches in the 2nd half would be awesome!

puckznpadz
puckznpadz

@jpizzy Don't think we under estimated his value.  We understood what he brought to the table but realized that at his age he cant be counted on being the workhorse he once was.  He needed help and still needs help.

doc942
doc942

@truth77 @neeza06 I am as big a supporter of de Haan throughout the tough few years he's had with multiple shoulder injuries.  I think he's looked very good… very smooth, good decision maker… and able to be physical and take a hit.  He's been a bit hesitant in front of the net though.  He let Crosby score the OT winner by not challenging him (albeit it was Crosby and he does it to everyone) but he allowed Chicago to come out from behind the goal last night without a challenge to tie it up at 2.  But overall, he is very talented.  Let's not start comparing him to Leetch or Neidermeyer though.  That's a bit much.

isles23
isles23

@truth, first player I thought of in regards to dehanns skill set was Scott Niedermayer. Mainly because of his skating ability. I know its a small sample size but those are two very good names to be compared too.

Don22
Don22

@chasctNot sure what the record is, but there is no doubt they have played better with him back.  He isn't a superstar by any means.  But he is steady and keeps a simple, defense first style that helps the other d men. 

mrcisback
mrcisback

@puckznpadz   Thats one way of looking at it but if Moulson was still on the Islanders playing along side Tavares and Vanek was still on Buffalo the point totals would probably be reversed. Even though i like the trade if Vanek walks away and we get nothing in return then its a terrible trade.

njersey
njersey

@puckznpadz Great Post Puck !

Moulson was great for us and appears to be a real good person, but he is a very much inferior player when compared to Vanek... And we must sign this guy if we want the league to give us any respect...

Great Post !!!

neeza06
neeza06

@puckznpadz i agree with you that he looks lost and on offense but our second line is not really a second line so you cant say hes had a ton of talent around him. our 3 best forwards are playing on 1 line together and its silly and grabner is definately not a second liner. neislen is legit and has looked great but the majority of his production this year has come while out on the ice with our big 3 forwards.


grabner has been as bad or worse then bailey all year from an offensive standpoint and while they both have been good in their own zone bailey has the edge there too. its amazing to me that isles fans still think grabner is a legit top 6 forward. isles fans have so much patience for him and he gets such a long leash but everyone is sceaming for baileys head since the third week of the season.


if the second line was out there producing and putting the puck in the net with any consistency with bailey out of the lineup id have to agree with you but the second line has played no better at all the games hes been out of the lineup.

Don22
Don22

@neeza06I agree.  The defense and the goalie are working together and feeding off each other.  Lately I see more of the team that went on last year's run instead of the team that swooned earlier this year.  They are playing with confidence and grit.  Not sure if they can make up the ground, but this is closer to what they really are as a team.

kevinpt
kevinpt

@neeza06 Thank you, this is exactly what I've been saying. I'd really say the goaltending and the first line has been the biggest reason they're winning. Nabby bailed them out multiple times last night. 


Also, Bailey is in my opinion at least, one of their best defensive forwards. I know lots of people hate on Corsi around here, but his stats show he's very good defensively. I get everyone's frustration with him, but I'd rather root for him to turn it around and figure it out like Okposo did rather than root for the team to waive him or bench him. Can you imagine how much better the team would be if Bailey figured it out like KO??

shlo
shlo

@doc942  Dehaan just started his NHL career , he is a rookie , he faced the top players in the league so in my book he gets a pass on the two goals you mentioned, as you said Crosby is Crosby, but Chicago is the league champion ,they do it day in and day out to everybody. I am impressed the way he handled himself so far. Lets hope that  a  day will come and people will compare other rookies to him, that is a nice thought..

grand_puba
grand_puba

@isles23 I really am happy for deHaan. People here have constantly berated him or actually more so snow for the fact that he was picked so high and was going to be a bust. I have to say, like you said small sample size, but he definitely is looking like a 1st round pick.

puckznpadz
puckznpadz

@neeza06 @puckznpadz 


Not saying I disagree with your assessment because I don't however part of my point was to use Bailey as trade bait to improve the defense.  It was to show that the team can survive with or without him.  Someone needs to be moved to bring in help.  I dont want to give up prospects.  I think grabner has a long lease because of the dynamic he brings.  If it were Bails getting the leave your seat breakaways and not grabs the fans would be screaming for him.

ny711ot
ny711ot

Teams are as strong as their weakest link. When a guy is gobbling 15-20 minutes a night and doing nothing productive on the ice it destroys chemistry.

Addition by subtraction is very real in hockey.

doc942
doc942

@shlo @doc942 I agree.  Rookies have lapses.  He has limited them to a point that you can count them on one hand.

grand_puba
grand_puba

@isles23 Totally, the vision and savvy are already evident. And I love that he's physical after so many here so he was as brittle as could be! If he stays healthy, there's another piece of our future.

isles23
isles23

@grand, I said it to someone on a post below. Can definitely see what snow saw that he wanted to trade up to get him, that kid can skate!!

neeza06
neeza06

@mrcisback @Don22 @neeza06 definitely not a good trade if he walks for nothing cant argue that point at all but still think it was a risk snow had to take. He now has a CHANCE to sign the best remaining FA in next years class as opposed to if he didnt make this trade signing vanek in the offseason would be an absolute pipe dream. Its sadly the only way he can get more high profile players to come and stay which is why id honestly give him almost whatever he wants (to an extent, you also dont want to start a precident that you will ridiculously overpay anyone who will come, then you will have a failed team of mercineries) 



mrcisback
mrcisback

@Don22 @neeza06 @mrcisback  Its worth the risk if the Islanders made it to the stanley cup finals last year and they feel Vanek might be the missing piece to push them over the top this year. But the islanders got knocked out in the first round last year. It also might be worth the risk if the 1st round pick was contingent on Vanek signing a long term contract with the Islanders. If he walks away for nothing it will be a horrible trade.

Don22
Don22

@neeza06@mrcisbackI agree.  And whats more, Vanek is more dangerous.  Other teams can't just focus on JT.  They have to worry about Vanek too, which I think has also made OK even better as well.  They have become a feared line in a short amount of time.  Just think what could be if Vanek decides to sign here and they play together long term.  Now I can agree that if Vanek decides to leave, then it's a tough trade to take - but still worth the risk.

mrcisback
mrcisback

@neeza06 @mrcisback I never said Moulson is a better player then Vanek. In my opinion Vanek brings a little bit more to the table then Moulson does. But for a big guy it seems Vanek is afraid of physical contact. If you play physical against Vanek he becomes invisible just like Rick Nash on the Rangers. Im just not crazy about trading for players who in there walk years and have there heart set on playing for another organization. I hope i'm wrong and Vanek and his wife fall in love with Long Island and the metropolitan area and he signs a long term extension before the March trade deadline.

neeza06
neeza06

@mrcisback I think thats a poor way to evaluate a hockey player.  People get way too carried away looking at stat sheets sometimes. yes they are a good place to start but it really doesnt tell you anything about a hockey players game. to say mouslen is just as good as vanek because of similar point production is silly. Vanek is a much better all around hockey player. moulsen is a solid guy to have but is completely one dimensional. Vanek his been THE guy in buffalo most of his career and has produced with limited talent around him in some seasons. Vanek can create his own offense. Moulsen cannot. Good players can elevate the play of other players as well as be elevated by having good talent around them.  Moulsen production relies mostly on who he plays with.

mrcisback
mrcisback

@rmreturns RM i usually agree with most of your comments but just look at the two players stats over the last three years and you will see what i mean. All i care about is who gives me more point production over an entire season and there about the same. As far as VIZ  goes i feel he's not as important as you think. At this point in his career he's about a 5 to 7 a year goal scorer and about a 30 point player. He's way past his prime and is terrible defensively. Its not like were missing Denis Potvin.

neeza06
neeza06

@puckznpadz thats very true and a good point. and i do think a trade could help this team and i also do not want to get rid of prospects but IMO i think the team could survive without grabner just as easily at his been without bailey (as in if they were swapped right now)


I think your right about everyone loving what they see from grabner with the leave your seat breakaways but honestly who cares if they rarely ever end up in the back of the net. grabner may even have a bit more trade value considering hes a little cheaper for less years and teams wont have any problem plugging him in on a third line (where i think he is a very solid player). plus a GM might start drooling over all the breakaway chances and think like a lot fans think that these eventually have to start going in just by the shear law of averages, which they wont.


Ive been wanting to suggest the trade grabner scenarios for some time now but i was afraid id get my head ripped off by the grabner is the next gretzky following he seems to have with isles fans.  not saying hes got to go just saying i think itd be smart to dangle him and see whats available.