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."no comments
The Maple Leafs make their annual holiday trip to Long Island tonight for a 7 P.M. match-up. This years game comes earlier as the previous 2 took place the day after Christmas, December 26. Islanders line-up is the same tonight as it was Monday against the Lightning. Here is the Maple Leafs line-up courtesy of Islanders Point Blank:
Ponikarovsky - Stajan - Kessel
Blake - Grabovski - Hagman
Stempniak - Primeau - Kulemin
Wallin- Meyers - Orr
Komisarek - Kaberle
Beauchemin - White
Schenn - Finger (Exelby)
The Islanders have a good track record against Toronto during the Holiday season. In their meeting during the 2007-2008 season the Islander won in dramatic fashion, Mike Comrie scored the game winning goal off of a rebound shot from Richard Park with 10 seconds left in overtime.
In the2008-2009 the Islanders won another memorable game over the Leafs. Rick Dipietro made a surprise start to the delight of Isles fans in attendance. He made 28 saves in 29 shots, along with Kyle Okposo, Freddy Meyer scoring and Bill Guerin netted his 399and 400th goals of his career. To top it all offkeanu reeves was in attendance while in town filming "The Day the Earth Stood Still."
Other Islanders News:
-Matt Donovan made team USA in the World Junior Hockey Championship.
-Islanders prospects Calvin de Haan and Travis Hamonic both got points in team Canada's game against Sweden.
-Finally check out IHB's Isleslights for the month of Novemberno comments
So, looking over past pieces, I realized all of them were just writing, which, being a blog site, there's nothing wrong with that. However, I love numbers and stats, and use very little of them throughout anything I've written thus far. Therefore, I developed my own formula for creating a power ranking system for the NHL teams.
That system combines the following: Winning percentage, goal differential, power play percentage and penalty kill percentage.
You add those four things together and get a number, the bigger the number, the higher that team is ranked. Below is the results of using that system. Teams are listed in the position they ranked, along with their actual league standing in parenthesis. None of the numbers are provided below, just the results, for that would be a large and complicated table to try to produce on this site considering I compiled and calculated all the information in an electronic spreadsheet. If anyone wants to see the specific numbers bad enough, feel free to e-mail me and I'll send you a copy of the file.
So as you can see a lot of teams flopped around. Some teams higher than what they really are, others lower. Special teams played the biggest part in altering where teams landed versus that of where they really are. Three teams, the Capitals (3), Ducks (22) and Hurricanes (30) finished in my rankings in the place they actually are in in the NHL standings. The Flyers moved up the most in my rankings, a total of eight spots placing 21st when they're 29th in the league. And the Predators fell the farthest, landing 13th when they're 6th in the league, dropping seven spots.
So that's that, a new power ranking system thrown together here. Let me know what you all think of it and perhaps I'll post updates to this system a couple times later in the season.
And to all the readers, please have a merry Christmas, happy holidays, and happy new year. I look forward to continue writing come 2010.no comments
It's been nearly 31 years since Denis Potvin layed a hit on Ulf Nilson which ended his career and created a chant that has been around for three decades. "Potvin Sucks" has been a staple at every Ranger-Islander game and can be heard at reagular Ranger games once in a while. The chant that was born from that 31 year old hit has in my mind officially run its course.
A hit that by many accounts was clean and Nilson himself did see the hit as dirty or blamed Potvin for any wrong doing. "The ice was never great in the Garden because they had basketball and other events. My foot got caught. It was a freak thing. The Ranger fans were so frustrated,” Ulf Nilson told the New York Times back in February of this year
Even though it was a clean hit fans of the Blue Shirts either have no idea why they chant "Potvin Sucks" or they have a completely distorted view of the events that evening. "It was a dirty hit, a total cheap shot!" a group of Ranger fans told Sports Illustrated. One fan even admitted that he did not know why or where the chant came from. With most that's probably the case, a tradition that was passed on from one to another. Much like the pure hatred for the Islanders or Rangers no one really knows why we truly hate them other than the fact that they are so close together.
The fact is, Denis Potvin was one of the greatest NHL defenseman, scoring 310 career goal and the first defenseman to reach 1,000 points. "In a sort of backhanded way, [the chant] was such a big compliment to Denis,"Neil Smith told Sports Illustrated. "You know, the fact that one player, after 37 years of the team being in existence, that one player has come to symbolize the franchise now." The Chant has turned into a joke for the Islanders greatest defensman and former captain, who jokes that the Garden faithfull have been chanting "Potvin's Cups" for all those years.
Joking aside, the "Potvin Chant" has run its' course. It had 30 year run, 15 of which should have never happened. It has been 21 years since Denis Potvin laced up his skates and threw on an Isles uniform and still Ranger fans dwell on something they know nothing about. The time has come to officially retire a chant that makes no sense to chant. It would be like if Islander fans still chanted 1940, it's outdated. "Potvin Sucks" should go the way of "1940" and "Crack Head Theo," right out the window. "Potvin Sucks" was fun while it lasted, but to quote Phil Esposito, "Get over it already."no comments
The title says it all, Henrik Lundqvist Stoned the Islanders all night long and while the Islanders played solid Hockey through the firs two periods the Rangers were leading by 3. The Rangers were 50% effective on the power play scoring 3 out of their 5 goals on the power play. On the other side of the spectrum the Islanders were horrible on the power play, going 0 for 7.
In the Fist the Islanders dominated the Rangers and it looked as if tonight was going to be a good night, oh was I wrong. Streit went to the box for holding at 12:41 and less than two minutes later Ryan Callahan got the Rangers on the board first. Then with a little under 3 minutes remaining Chris Drury scored his third of the season giving the Rangers the 2 goal lead. The odd thing was the Islanders outplayed their opponents in nearly every aspect of the first and still managed to be behind 2-0
The start of the second would not be any better, 27 seconds into the period Callahan scored his second power play goal of the night giving the Rangers the 3-0 lead. The Islanders had a chance to bring the game within 2 when Lundqvist came out and tripped giving Nate Thompson an open net to score on. Thompson picked up the puck and SHOT IT WIDE! sending every Islander fan into a WTF moment. Young Andrew MacDonald saved his butt though, blasting a shot from the blue line past King Henrik at 9:31.
That goal seemed to give the team some jump and gave fans hope for a comeback. That was obliterated in the third however, just 2 minutes in Freddy Meyer got called for delay of game after his clearing attempt went over the board out of play. Then a minute later an odd scuffle broke out by the Ranger net resulting in a questionable penalty that gave the Rangers a 5 on 3 power play. Marian Gaborik scored on that power play giving the team from Manhattan a 4-1 lead. 3 and a half minutes later Artem Anisimov scored making it 5-1. The Islanders did not give up though, as the game started to come to an end Frans Nielsen scored to make it 5-2, but nothing more happened and the Rangers got the win.
ANLYSIS:Take nothing away from the Rangers capitalizing on their scoring chances, but tonight's win for the Rangers is really all thanks to the goal tending of Henrik Lundqvist who stopped all 14 shot in the first period and 32 of 34 shots overall. His outstanding play during the first is truly what gave the Rangers the momentum to take it to the Islanders and win.
The Islanders don't play again until Saturday against the Canadians, who lost by the score 3-1 to the Wild tonight. The Islanders need to do what they did after the blow out to the Panthers Monday night, just shake it off and get ready for the next game. With a winnable schedule ahead the Isles need to capitalize during these games and obtain so needed points. The Islanders and rangers meet again next Friday for round four at the Garden.no comments