Sunday, October 14, 2007

10/13/07: Flyers 3, Islanders 1

I had no expectation of seeing Saturday night's game. Despite teasing my wife about Cape May, where we were scheduled to be on Saturday, being close enough to Philadelphia for us to take in the game, it simply was not on my agenda. Imagine how pleased I was to walk into a restaurant that evening and find myself seated 20 feet from a TV showing the Flyers' pre-game show.

Of course, watching a game from 20 feet away with no sound while trying not to be completely rude to my dinner companions (who are very understanding) resulted in a very superficial absorption of the action. I did manage to catch the list of scratches, so I knew that Bergeron and Tambellini were not in the lineup.

We had a very leisurely (and tasty) dinner that took us well into the 2nd period. And then the harsh reality of being a hockey fan hit. The bartender acquiesced to a request for the ALCS, and Hockey Night in New Jersey was over. The restaurant had three TVs, but no room on them for hockey. At least I was able to catch most of the 3rd period back at the hotel. The Islanders put up a valiant fight trying for the equalizer, but it was not to be.

Ted Nolan's post-game comments indicate that he was pleased with the effort. However, you can't ignore the fact that the Islanders have been outscored 11-2 in the first two games of this road trip. Perhaps there has been a little too much line shuffling in the early going due to the Sim injury, the return of Chris Simon, and the use of seven defensemen.

The schedule won't be doing the team any favors either. Until November 6th, the Islanders will only play on Thursdays and Saturdays, and not even on all of the Thursdays in that period. The light schedule could make it difficult to keep up with the division and conference leaders. The Islanders will have to sit around and watch while their rivals have more opportunities to pick up points. On the positive side, maybe the team can use the time to get its lines clicking again.

New feature: No matter how good the Islanders are in a particular season, it always seems that they end up shorthanded more often than their opponents. Some years, you could attribute this to having a particularly aggressive team or an undisciplined team. But is it always one or the other? Or is there another reason? Whatever the answer, I'm going to shine the spotlight on this particular stat from time to time so we keep it in mind throughout the season. As of October 14th, the Islanders have had 26 power play opportunities, which places them 11th in the league. They have been shorthanded 34 times which ranks them 3rd most in the league. Currently, the power play is ranked 15th while the PK weighs in at #5.


IslesFanInCA said...

That third period was definitley tough to watch brecause they put so much pressure but couldn't get it done.

After being a away from the Isles for a few years as I settled down in CA and now re-finding them to help deal with the Mets collapse, it's unusual to have so many days between games so I am looking to the blogs to keep my interest in the Isles.

I like the team and hard work will be the theme of the year if they're going to stay at the top of the Atlantic division.

Keep up the great work. Looking forward to the year.

Outsider said...

Thanks for checking in, islesfaninca. It's good to have you on board, even if it did take the Mets collapse to bring you back. Let's hope that the two teams don't keep trading off having to pick up each other's fans. I'll do my best to fill in the gaps between games for you.