Haha. Islanders win with a fourth line of Mitch Fritz, Nate Thompson and Joel Rechlicz and an absurd number of AHL Bridgeport call-ups. Wow. Looks like Doug Weight, Jesse Joensuu and Richard Park had a healthy number of shifts together, too. This game, I tell ya', it's always full of surprises.
As Mike updated me after the game: "We can't ever lose when I want them to." Now the Islanders are just three points behind Colorado, though the Avs have a game in hand. But in my book, a Saturday night home win is never a bad thing; we'll just hope the rest of the season works out, uh, lottery-wise.
Note: I had a charity event (open bar!) and didn't catch this one save for a DVR skim of highlights. But coherent or not, we'll always be posting some sort of recap here -- if not for the mundane insight then for the permalinks to game stats, etc. Just find that helps in case we ever need to refer back to it to find who played, who scored, what was said, etc.
On that note, the game boxscore "Complete Coverage" links now go to a specific SBN page just for that game which includes links to anything else (whether here or at the opposing blog) written about that game.
As mentioned, Doug of Official's Outlook was invited to write the official site recap that fellow Blog Boxer Tom Liodice has written much of this season, which is cool for all the Blog Box members. Doug' money quote is from Scott Gordon, discussing the progress of young Josh Bailey:
"With Josh, the offense for him is going to build as he gets stronger. The biggest takeaway for me this year is the skating part of it. The fact that he's moving his feet, he's getting more opportunities because of it, he's around the puck more often and as a result he gets that goal because he was in good stride when he received [that pass]."
Aside from Park's opening-shift goal, the Islanders were again power play-dependent. That over-dependence is why NYI Fan Central, in the waning days of his blog, votes against re-signing Weight. He raises good points, but I'm still of the view I'd rather take this veteran devil-we-know for next year than some such Comrie who chooses the Island as a last resort.
Jamie Fraser, in his NHL debut -- the 21st AHL Bridgeport player to be in the Isles lineup this season -- logged 11:00 and was credited with two blocked shots and one takeaway. ... Yann Danis was back in form, with the Islanders being outshot 30-21 ... Fritz and Rechlicz each got a fight in, the latter's defeat of something called Zenon Knopka is included in the video highlights (plus additional links) after the jump.
And the Fritz-Koci fight (via HockeyFights.com) where Fritz spun him like a rag doll and Koci cheaply kept throwing punches after the linesmen stepped in. (Not only is that weak, that's dangerous for the poor officials who have to wade in and part the two grunts.)
Let me say again: Fritz can dance with our dates -- he doesn't even have to ask.
More on the Game (besides what's linked to above):
- Mark Streit, Kyle Okposo, Andy Hilbert and Sean Bergenheim were all still out, with Streit's status for the World Championships in question because of the injury and all the minutes he's logged this season.
- Logan assesses the preseason-level lineup and asks Gordon if he's following the lottery standings: "I pay a lot more attention to who's going to be in our lineup on a daily basis. For me, we're trying to build something in the second half of the season so we can come back next season and feel good about ourselves."
- More on Gordon from 7th Woman.
- Coverage in the Post?? Gordon likes Jesse's speed.
- Drive for Five cheers the youngsters.
As always, feel free to post any more relevant links in comments -- and don't be reluctant to pimp your own stuff. The more views, the merrier.