03 November 2009
It was the Oilers first trip back to the Coliseum since December of 2005 and it was Steve Tamballini's second trip in two 3 days. The Oilers also had not won in the Coliseum since 1999 and the Islanders made sure it stayed that way.
The Oilers opened up the scoring in the first with a lucky bounce off the toe of Radik Martinek that would get by Roloson, the goal was credited to Ethan Moreau at 11:02. A few minutes later the Oilers had anothe great opportunity, but were denied by Roloson who made a big save. The Islanders stayed determined through and kept work t make opportunities, it payed off. Doug Weight took down two Oilers behind the Oiler net leaving allowing Matt Moulson to pick the puck up and give it a the wide open John Tavares who tied the game at one. At the point momentum shifted for the Isles as they continued to pressure the Oiler net creating several scoring chances in front of the net. The go ahead goal though, would come from an unlikely defenseman, Brendan Witt. Firing a lose shot, Witt beat Khabibulin to give the Islanders the 2-1 lead. Then Witt sealed the Islanders win by firing another shot from the point that once again got by Khabibulin, Guaranteeing an Isles win, giving him his first career two goal game, and coming within inches of a hat trick goal. "It would've been nice, but whatever," Witt said when asked about the possibility of a Hat Trick.
Up until last night Brendan Witt had not scored a goal since January 22,2008 in Carolina against the Hurricanes. Talk about Witt's unimpressive play over the first ten games of the season had also started to pop up around the web recently. Last night's performance is hopefully the start of Brendan Witt a new.
It was also and big night for goalie Dwayne Roloson, who stopped 21 outta 22 shots last night, as he faced off against his former club. "It's another victory,"Roloson said in the post game interview.Â "It doesn't matter who we played, we won a hockey game and that's all that matters right now."
While the team started off slow, Captin Doug Weight felt it wasn't because they played bad. "We played some good hockey and we didn't get the results (we wanted)" Weight said.
Now though,Â there is a noticeable difference with the Islanders in the last 5 games. They seem to be coming together and playing their style of hockey. "Were going out and playing a game of hockey we have to play to win hockey games," said Roloson.Â The Islanders have finished Checks, especially big man Andy Sutton, who laid a huge hit on Gilbert causing a fight to break out. Along with the break out play by forth line players, Park, Thompson, and Jackman along with red Hot Jeff Tamballini, who may finally be developing into the player he is expected to be, and now Brendan Witt.
"It's a marathon, not a sprint....were just trying to be consistent," said Witt. "We just wanna get our wins and play hard."
Playing hard and getting wins is exactly they have done in the last 4 contests, giving the entire a new level of confidence.
"Were playing with confidence....skating, working well, and creating a lot of good chances,"Â saidÂ Doug Weight.Â "I like the way were playing."
Tavares Leads, Tom Renney Believes,
and Brendan Witt Jeers a Reporter
In last nights 3-1 win over the Oilers,John Tavares Scored his fifth goal of the season, putting him ahead of Rangers defenseman, Michael Del Zotto, for rookie goal scoring leader. Tavares has had a point in all four of the Islanders victories and hadÂ two goals in the last four games. Tavares now leads rookies in scoring and is two points behind James van Riemsdyk, of the Flyers, for points leader.
Tom Renny Spoke with Reporters prior to the Oilers/Islanders match up. This was his first time back in New York since being fired as Rangers head coach. The former Ranger coach paid the Islanders a major complement, "I think theyâ€™re an excellent team.....I think theyâ€™re a playoff team."
Finally, during Brendan Witt's post game press conference, Witt had a John Tortarella moment while dealing with one question. The reporter asked if (Witt) remembered the last 2 goal game he had, Witt replied "what do you think...look it up" followed by "Stupid question...of course not." Following that response the spirit of John Tortarella left and Witt went back to being himself.
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