An independent blog on the New York Islanders and the NHL by a guy from New York.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

"Out-Muscled"



The Islanders are currently 26-28-9, 61 pts and sit in 14th place in Eastern Conference.  Tonight, they visit the Philadelphia Flyers at 34-21-7 with 75 pts, 6th place in East.  Philadelphia is 4-5-1 in their last 10 and struggling to win at home at 14-10-5, tied for 3rd worst in the league.  The Islanders have beaten the Flyers twice in the last two games played in the Wells Fargo Center, they lead the season series: 2-1-1 of 6.  What will happen tonight?

Forwards: Moulson-Tavares-Parenteau, Ullstrom-Nielsen-Bailey, Grabner-Cizikas-Okposo, Martin-Reasoner-Pandolfo.

Defensive pairings: MacDonald-Hamonic, Streit-Staios, Eaton-Jurcina.

Evgeni Nabokov in goal, Anders Nilsson will be backing up.

Dylan Reese has been activated off IR.


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Your New York Islanders came out with jump and put pressure on the Flyers early.  Josh Bailey made it 1-0 Isles just 1:35 into the period.  Casey Cizikas and Mark Streit assisted.  For Cizikas, its his first NHL point.  The Flyers responded with an even strength and power play goal to take a 2-1 lead in the game.  Philadelphia out shooting New York 10-8.


Just :50 Into the second period, Josh Bailey (Nielsen and Streit) scored his second of the game to make it 2-2.  Flyers answered with two quick goals (:39 apart) and take the lead 4-2.  There were two goals tonight against Nabokov that he should have been stopped, but he cant single handedly win every game for the Isles.  The Flyers ahead in shots, 16-12 at the mid point of the second and outplayed the Isles.  Flyers continued to control the period.  Do you think Coach Laviolette’s decision to call a time out worked in settling down his team?  The shot count has the Flyers ahead 21-14.


Flyers continued where they left off and put one past Nabokov to make the score 5-2.  Islanders look rattled and unable to gain composure.  Where is the coaching?  The Flyers continued to dominate play, Nabokov making some key saves for New York to keep them in the game.  Kyle Okposo (Cizikas and Jurcina) scored to bring the Isles within 2 at 5-3.  A second point tonight for Casey Cizikas.  The Flyers starting to feel the pressure from the Islanders offensive push as the Islanders find some life.  A late PP is wasted by the Isles.  Islanders pull Nabokov with 2:00 remaining.  Flyers scored an empty net goal with :21 remaining.  6-3 Philadelphia, the final.

The Flyers out shot the Islanders 29–24 for the game.

Evgeni Nabokov was 24/29 with a .828 Sv%.


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I liked the play of Josh Bailey (2g) and Casey Cizikas (2a) tonight.  Marty Reasoner and Jay Pandolfo were virtually invisible on the grinding line.  Gillies and Haley are clearly needed there. The teams frustration is evident and they seem like they have a fragile confidence when adversity appears.

The Islanders started out strong in the first two periods but were eventually out played throughout the night in all the fundamental areas of the game.  At times they made attempts to regain control, but it seems as if they weren’t able to adjust consistently.  The Isles made mistakes and tonight, the Flyers exploited them.  Once again, they spotted their opponent a multi-goal lead, and couldn’t erase the deficit.  The Isles were out muscled with only Martin (no disrespect to M.M. here) in the line up while Gillies and Haley remain in Bridgeport.

Coach Capuano feels the same way I do: "They out-muscled us. They were stronger on their sticks."



2 down, 1 to go until zero hour.  Boston is next.  8th spot in the east is slipping away.


Isles Notes:

Arthur Staple:  Nino Niederreiter on sitting out again: "Of course I'm happy and proud to be an Islander all year. But I'm ------ off that I can't play."

@7thWoman “Matt Martin leads the NHL w/ 293 hits. 68 more than the NHL’s next top hitter.”

G Anders Nilsson was named Reebok/AHL Goaltender of the month for February with a 6-0-1 record, 1.26 GAA, .955 SV%, 1 SO.

I wonder if Al Montoya is still feeling effects of concussion from a cheap shot from Evander Kane that went unpunished by NHL? Isles calling his latest scratch an upper body injury.  Montoya hasn’t been same since Kane collision before Christmas. It really may have negated his chance at an NHL comeback. I really hope it is not case.

Dee Karl RT @NHLhistorygirl Random NHL facts: “It took the Islanders 8 years to evolve from dead-last expansion team to a Cup dynasty.”  Food for thought.


I wont be around at game time on Saturday for the game against the Bruins.  Look for me to post an update later on in the weekend.

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