Friday, November 2, 2007

11/1/07: Islanders 4, Lightning 0

Well, that certainly was a whole lot better. The team that hit the ice last night played with confidence, focus, and determination. The goaltending was extremely sharp, proving that Rick DiPietro was right to take a no-worries attitude after last Saturday's debacle. The scoring was balanced and the offense seized upon some miscues made by the opponent (sound familiar?).

The power play didn't get on the scoresheet, but you can't expect that every night even if you do convert one out of every four opportunities. Sean Bergenheim left with an unspecified injury, but Ted Nolan's quotes did not indicate any particular concern. Let's hope he's back shortly and able to help this team get on a roll in what will be a busy month of November. If Bergenheim needs to sit for a few games, I'm sure Aaron Johnson and Chris Simon would be more than willing to pick up some of his shifts, as they played only 2:37 and 4:54, respectively. Perhaps there will be another Jeff Tambellini sighting on Long Island.

Andy Hilbert has been taking a lot of abuse lately for his inability to convert good scoring chances (or even hit the net). After last night's game, I was expecting to read a lot of jokes about DiPietro trying to "take care" of the Hilbert issue all by himself with that paddle across the face just before Guerin put the Isles up 1-0. It was good to see Hilbert survive that with his face mostly intact. It will be better to see him light the lamp!

Congratulations to Mike Sillinger on his 1,000th game in the NHL. It is amazing to me that a guy could be in the league that long without having played two full seasons for a single team. And it truly is a case of teams wanting the player because he's so useful, rather than wanting to get rid of him because he's just a body.

I'm really looking forward to being at the Coliseum tomorrow for Al Arbour's return to the bench. It should be a special night. If you can't make it out, enjoy the extended pre-game show on FSNY.

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