Saturday, December 6, 2008

Live Blog: Thrashers 5, Islanders 1, and Mike Sillinger Iso

2:03 Sutton and Thorburn almost go at it, but think better of it. Sutton takes a cross-checking penalty with 1:35 left, and that's going to do it from here.

2:57 Islanders hit with a bench minor for unsportsmanlike conduct. The remaining crowd could fit in a high school gymnasium.

4:10 Sillinger back on for another quickie. They're getting one time down the ice at this point.

5:45 Short shift by Sillinger. It's hard to assess someone's performance and impact on a game at this point. There's a lot of drifting at this point. The Islanders really need to figure out how to generate some offense five-on-five.

6:30 The best scoring chance of that power play was by the Thrashers' Slater.

8:31 Power play starts with Guerin taking the draw.

8:56 Sillinger gets on the ice for the first time in a while. Isles draw a holding penalty, which Enstrom seems none too thrilled about.

9:26 Streit rifles one off the post, followed by a Comeau rocket off the post 20 seconds later. Thrashers come back the other way and Thorburn makes it 5-1.

9:37 Looks like a shortened bench here in the third.

12:41 Delayed penalty called on Sutton and the Thrashers score to make it 4-1. Hunter's first penalty had just expired so it's now 5-on-4. Perrin with the goal from Williams and Kovalchuk.

13:45 Campoli does a nice job blocking a cross-crease pass.

14:43 Hunter takes a double-minor for high-sticking and tripping. Didn't see that coming.

15:58 Sillinger's second shift is abbreviated as Gordon puts out the top line after an Atlanta icing. Bergenheim is back with Guerin and Weight.

18:23 Sillinger uses a veteran move to pin Reasoner down on the ice in the corner without getting a penalty.


2nd Intermission: A poor period by the Islanders in a game in which there's no excuse for not giving a complete effort and taking two points. Scott Gordon seemed to be sending a few messages to express his displeasure. I'll confirm this shortly but Sillinger seemed to get much less ice time in that period and Bergenheim lost his spot on the top line.

Sillinger took only four shifts in the 2nd for 3:48. He added 27 seconds on the PP but didn't receive any further PK time. Sillinger is now 4-4 on faceoffs.

0:04 Offensive zone draw after another icing by the Thrashers. Weight unable to win it and the period ends.

2:43 Comeau now playing with Weight and Guerin on the top line.

3:30 Comeau with a big center-ice hit.

4:16 Sillinger loses the defensive zone draw.

4:37 Thrashers goal. Sloppy and lazy play by the Isles in the defensive leaves a loose puck and a half-open crease for the Thrashers to easily increase their lead to 3-1. Boulton with the goal from Crabb and Slater.

6:40 Jackman and Park trade great shorthanded scoring opportunities but Hedberg denies Jackman and Park pushes it just wide.

7:34 Bergenheim takes a seat for slashing.

9:56 Apologies for the gap. Things in processorland had become unbearably slow and a restart was necessary. We're back just in time to see Marty Reasoner find a wide open Ilya Kovalchuk on the right wing. Kovalchuk cut in on MacDonald unimpeded and flipped the puck by him easily. Thrashers lead 2-1. While we were gone, Sillinger did get off a nice one-timer from the slot, but Hedberg deflected it wide.

16:30 Hilbert, Park, and Sim got the call for the second unit on that power play. Sillinger hit the ice for the last ten seconds. He took a feed at the top of the right circle but didn't look good handling the puck and was unable to get a shot off.

18:15 MacDonald stops Colby Armstrong on an attempted stuff. Jason Williams takes a slashing penalty for the Thrashers following the play.


First Intermission: Four seconds will remain on Hilbert's penalty to start the second period. Really would have liked to see the Islanders take control of this game in the first. The opportunity was there in power plays and an Atlanta team that didn't pose much of a threat. Coming out of it tied 1-1 must surely spell disappointment in the Islanders' locker room.

By my count, Sillinger took six shifts in the first in all man-power situations. Indeed, the stat sheet confirms six shifts and 5:10 of ice time. 1:15 on the PP and 0:37 on the PK. He was -1 with 1 shot, 1 giveaway, and a 2-1 record on faceoffs. He had one good scoring chance in front off a nifty feed from the side of the net, but couldn't put it by Hedberg. Sillinger fell at the end of the play but got up none the worse for the wear.

1:56 Hilbert takes a roughing penalty standing up for Bailey who took a tough hit in the offensive zone.

2:16 Thrashers goal. Sillinger on the ice at the end of a shift as Bryan Little was left alone to slide one past MacDonald. Tied 1-1.

3:18 Sillinger back on with Park and Comeau. Park stopped on the doorstep by Hedberg.

4:54 Thompson takes the draw as he and Sim have replaced Sillinger and Park. Comeau still on. Sillinger got shortchanged on that shift.

5:13 This Sillinger shift will come with a TV timeout after just 15 seconds thanks to a Thrasher playing the puck with a high stick. Faceoff coming just outside the Islanders zone.

7:28 Jackman with a TKO of Thorburn. 5 each for fighting.

7:45 End of shift, another over 1:00.

8:45 Sillinger playing high on the forecheck. His acceleration getting back on defense looks pretty good.

9:00 Hilbert, Sim, and Park pick up the back end of this power play. Sillinger comes on with Comeau and Park for the final 12 seconds.

11:45 Sillinger gets a PP shift with Park ahd Hilbert. It's a long shift with plenty of action around the net. Ends with Joey Crabb taking a high-sticking penalty and another Islanders power play.

12:41 Boulton and Valabik take roughing penalties. Sutton takes a roughing penalty for the Isles, who go to their second power play of the game.

13:20 Penalty over. Good to see Comeau parked in front of the net, even though he fired a one-timer wide.

14:36 Sillinger takes a shift on the PK. Goes off after 30 seconds and a successful clear.

16:04 Streit goes off for hooking. MacDonald makes a nice slide across the crease to stop a slapper from the far boards.

16:27 Jackman came off the bench and sprinted to the forecheck.

19:09 Sillinger on for his first shift, centering Comeau and Park. He seems to be getting up and down the lanes just fine. Goes off with 18:14 remaining.

19:09 Islanders goal. Guerin one-times a pass from Streit. Isles lead 1-0.

19:41 Power play Isles. Boulton with the Interference penalty.

20:00 The Isles will open with Jackman-Park-Thompson-Campoli-Streit. Sillinger is expected to line up between Jackman and Thompson once the lines get rolling.


Welcome back for another Saturday night of live NHL action. Tonight the 8-14-3 Atlanta Thrashers visit Nassau Coliseum to take on the Islanders.

I'm going to do things a little differently tonight and focus on Mike Sillinger as he plays in his second game since returning from microfracture hip surgery. I was going to do this earlier in the season with Jeff Tambellini, but then decided that the spotlight on his struggles was intense enough without a blog dedicated to his every move on the ice. Last night and this morning I was going back and forth between Sillinger and Tambellini, but today's roster move settled that question.

Speaking of roster moves, #57 Blake Comeau has it the ice for warmups. After his callup was announced, I considered doing the iso blog on him instead of Sillinger. But let's give him a game to see how he fits into Scott Gordon's plans.

So tonight we will put the isolation cam on the 37-year-old center from Regina. As always, the newest entry will appear at the top of the blog, and timestamps will refer to time remaining in the period.

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