Notable notes are like quotable quotes. Just in case you were wondering.
I am not in the Blog Box tonight. It's Versus time. While I am blogging during the game, I'm going to shy away from the traditional notion of live blogging. If you happen to be in search of such coverage, I think you will find the coverage of some of our usual contributors to your liking.
Earlier this evening I wandered my way over to ESPN's NHL home page. I was so stunned to see three separate Islanders items featured that I screencapped it for prosperity. In case things change before you read this, there's the proof to your left. (Okay, it's sort of above and to the left.)
Speaking of Versus, the audio quality started out poor for this broadcast, which, at this point, is inexcusable for this network. Then, during the first period, the picture disappeared and was replaced by a message saying something about poor signal quality. I'm not going to complain too much about this for fear that these problems will at some point be attributed to poor infrastructure at the Coliseum.
Speaking of ESPN.com, their fantasy hockey coverage includes a feature called the Boxscore Blog. In the main content section of the Fantasy Hockey home page, this is abbreviated to Box Blog. As a member of the Blog Box, seeing a link to the Box Blog on ESPN.com always throws me for a second.
Drury just scored a PPG on a slapper from the point. 1-0 Rangers. It was disappointing to see the Islanders close the 1st period with a sloppy power play. On the other hand it was nice to hear Keith Jones and Eddie Olczyk giving props to the Isles for playing physically and containing Jagr in the first twenty minutes. Of course, now I'm listening to them praise Lundqvist in the middle of the 2nd because technical difficulties have interrupted the broadcast of actual hockey activities. Billy Jaffe is on the broadcast as the roving reporter. At least, he was when there was a broadcast. Ah, okay, we're back now.
Last week, you may have briefly seen a power play scoreboard on this blog that was tracking the differential between the Islanders man-up and man-down situations over the course of the season. That feature will return periodically, but for now the stats are a little skewed by the fact that the Isles have played fewer games than most teams. Coming in to this game, the differential was -4, based on 52 power play opportunities for, and 56 against. However, it is notable (see?) that the team already trails the league leader in power play opportunities by FORTY. The Ducks, who have played five more games than the Isles, have been granted 92 chances with a man-power advantage. The Islanders rank 29th in the league in that category. The 56 times shorthanded places them tied for 27th (meaning that 26 teams have been shorthanded more times than the Isles). For comparison, the Leafs have been shorthanded 87 times in 15 games.
We'll be back after this intermission.
Going into the third, Billy Jaffe is reporting that Assistant Coach Gerard Gallant is happy with the way the game is going so far. Other than the score, I'd have to agree with that assessment. The Islanders have looked dangerous, generating an acceptable number of scoring chances. And just like that, Fedotenko finds Hunter for a wicked wrister to tie the game.
I can't imagine what series of thought processes led to Paul Mara being left wide open in front of the net. Rangers lead 2-1. Just prior to the goal, Gomez was given way too much room skating into the zone, but couldn't connect on a pass to Mara.
After tying it up, the Islanders continued to buzz for a few minutes, with Miro Satan failing to cash in on two good opportunities. The Rangers' goal seems to have changed the momentum, and they are now working on a power play. (Didn't I say I wasn't going to do this?)
Now that's how you execute a power play. Fedotenko from Comrie and Bergeron. 2-2.
I didn't see a good replay of the penalties that led to the 4-on-4, but I have to think that the Islanders were fortunate to come out of the sequence at equal strength. Girardi then took a high-sticking penalty for an undisciplined poke, leading to the Islander power play.
Vasicek has been very strong with the puck this period and his play (along with Park's) was no small part of the Satan goal that put the Isles up 3-2. Good for Miro putting that one home.
The call on Rozsival had to be made after they let Jagr's grabbing go. The call on Hunter was predictable and you couldn't have expected the game to end any other way. Scrambling always leads to the penalty box.
Great 3rd period. Great win. Fun game to watch overall. DiPietro came up big when he needed to.
I'm looking forward to hearing the reports from the locker room after this one.