Canadiens Say Boo; Islanders Jump
In what may have been one of the strangest nights in the history of Nassau Coliseum, the Islanders dominated for two periods before blowing a 4-1 lead to the...delight?...of thousands of screaming...Canadiens fans?
Someone up in Montreal thought this would be a good weekend for a road trip to New York. And that person has lots of friends.
Chris Botta made a very astute observation after the game. Normally, when a team crumbles like the Islanders did, you would hear plenty of booing. But the cheering from the Canadian contingent was so loud that there was no audible booing from the home team's fans.
I have seen Montreal play at the Coliseum before and it was never like this. Chris added that he had never seen such a showing for a visit by the Canadiens. Before I even entered the Coliseum, the only three fans I saw outside the press gate were decked out in their red Habs sweaters. Once the gates opened, they were everywhere.
In the live blog below, I tried to pass it off as visitors from out of town arriving early to check out the arena and have a full experience. But the numbers continued to grow and so did the decibel levels. The reaction to each Montreal goal was louder and more enthusiastic than I have heard from fans of any other team at the Coliseum.
Okay, I won't dwell on it any longer, except to say that you have to be impressed by such support and it made for a terrific atmosphere.
Time permitting, I'll have more tomorrow. In the meantime, if you missed it there are plenty of glorious and grisly details below.
One quick observation on Scott Gordon: I have never heard a professional coach offer more specific descriptions and explanations of his team's play. In this case, obviously, he was speaking of the team's shortcomings, what they did wrong, and what they need to do to fix the problems. Take a few minutes and view last night's press conference on Islanders TV. It is refreshingly light on cliches and rich in candid details.
Cowboy Cut Quote
Mark Streit: "We didn't forecheck. We didn't backcheck. We just watched."
Prime Cut Quote
Streit: "When everyone's on board, plays within the system, we can play with any team in the league."
Fantasy Report—Games 9 & 10
Game 9: Flyers 3, Islanders 2, OT
Fantasy Stars of the Game
1st Star: Mark Streit (1 A, 1 PPA, 4 SOG, 1 BkS, 1 hit)
2nd Star: Andy Sutton (1 A, 2 SOG, 3 BkS, 4 PIMs)
3rd Star: Andy Hilbert (1 G, +1, 3 SOG, 1 BkS)
4th Star: Bill Guerin (1 G, 1 PPG, 3 SOG)
5th Star: Trent Hunter (3 SOG, 2 PIMs, 3 hits)
Game 10: Canadiens 5, Islanders 4
Fantasy Stars of the Game
1st Star: Trent Hunter (2 A, 1 PPA, 3 SOG, 2 BkS, 4 hits)
2nd Star: Mark Streit (1 G, 1 PPG, 2 SOG, 4 BkS, 2 PIMs)
3rd Star: Bill Guerin (1 G, 1 PPG, 4 SOG, 2 BkS, 1 hit)
4th Star: Doug Weight (2 A, 1 PPA, 1 SOG)
5th Star: Frans Nielsen (1 G, 1 A, 1 SOG)