24 December 2009
The Islanders had Christmas come early as santa rewarded their hard effort with a 3-1 win over the Maple Leafs. The win snaped a 3 game losing streak that saw the Islanders losing to the Rangers, Canadiens and Lightning. The Islanders did not play horrible but faced several hot goalies and their penelty was awful.
Last night fans saw the Islander play shut down defense as if they were Darrell Revis and the New York Jets Defense. Andy Sutton would be Revis if we had to compare last night blocking several shots, being everywhere on the ice and getting some big hits including one on Leafs star Phil Kessel. The Islanders managed to hold the leafs to just 13 shots through two periods (5 in the first and 8 in the second). "we just kept it simple," John Tavares told reporters after the game."we didnt try to do too much."
The Isles D held down the fort through the firts allowing only 5 shot to get to Rolie the golie. The second period would have a very scray moment midway into the period. At that time Nate Thompson got cliped by the skate of a Maple Leaf player that barley missed the eye of Thompson. Later just after a power play ended for the Isles Trent Hunter was able to fire a shot that got by Gustavsson to give the Islanders the 1-0 lead. A few seconds later former Islanders Jason Blake would have a goal disallowed because of a blatant high stick. So 90 seconds after Hunters goal Blake Comeau would force Gustavsson to commit to his left side, allowing Comeau to feed the puck behind the Toronto goalie right to a wide open John Tavares. This would Tavares's first goal in seven games.
The Islanders had a scare in the third period, pulling one of their let their opponents score moves scaring every Islander fan in the building and watching home on TV. They would hold on behind some impressive saves by Dwayne Roloson that Scott Gordon called "important." The Isles would get one more on an empty netter by Blake Comeau.
The Islanders D started to fall apart in the third allowing 14 shots on goal while only getting 7 shots that period. The power play, which has been a major downside for the Islanders stayed that way, "We gotta start getting it going and producing more," Tavares said regarding the Isles lack of power play. The penelty kill, which has hindered the Isles the past several games, came up huge tonight succecsfully killing both Toronto power plays.
The Islanders along with the rest of the league have today and tommorow off before going back to work to take on the Rangers at the Garden. Speaking about the upcoming game it's importance Scott Gordon had this to say, "Two points are always gunna be important. We're in a situation where realisticly we gotta aim for that 8th spot. Theres alot of teams bunched in that area and whether it's the Rangers or anybody else thats in that area those are the ones that are going to be real important."
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