"It seems like I've been here before / It seems like I've been here before..."
>>Everything's Gone Green, New Order
So four full days between games was not the answer. After almost a week in Florida, the Islanders opened with a very alarming first period but responded well in the second -- getting the first 11 shots and taking a 2-1 lead -- to force a Lightning timeout. Then a hard but bad-angle Martin St. Louis shot beat Dwayne Roloson to tie it, and shortly afterward a shocking two-on-oh gave the Lightning the lead.
After that, the Islanders reeled. They pinched randomly and carelessly, as if they had one minute instead of 20-plus to get a tying goal. This looks like a fragile, gassed team. Or: A team on a six-game losing streak, that just went 0-4 on the road. It seems I will be paying more attention to Tyler Seguin, Cam Fowler or that hot young "WE NEED TO DRAFT THIS KID NOW!!!1" of the Polynesian League.
Ah well. This team provided some fun times this year -- certainly more than last. I'm grateful for those. But Garth Snow's deadline decisions are quickly becoming easier, from both a hockey ops, PR and rebuild standpoint.
Ministry of Ironic Juxtaposition: Topic du jour Jeff Tambellini received under 10 minutes of ice time, about two less than Jon Sim (11:46). Sim scored the (momentary) go-ahead goal in typical Sim style, six feet from the goal, while Tambellini drew one of two first-period Islanders powerplays by pressuring Victor Hedman.
Ministry of Ironic Juxtaposition, II: Dustin Kohn received a little more ice time (12:19) and also received a dubious penalty for hitting -- get this -- Steve Downie, the king of careless hits. It was ruled interference, and naturally Downie was offended someone would hit him in a way that might cause bodily harm.
- I have no goats for this game: Everyone looked unremarkable. Except Mark Streit, who made multiple outstanding defensive plays to cover up for teammates who had wandered off the ranch. He looks like he's in Olympic form.
- Matt Moulson's first-period goal was a lucky bounce, but it was karmic return from the hockey gods for the Lightning scoring on Kohn's shady penalty. Not lucky, and in fact quite good: Steven Stamkos. Wow.
- For what it's worth, the Corsi figures flattered Rob Schremp, Matt Moulson, Bruno Gervais and Kohn, but I suspect all positive figures were due to the excellent shifts the Islanders put together for the first half of the second.
Nate Thompson's line against his former mates: minus-1, 14:14 TOI (4:22 on PK), 3 shots, 3 hits, 1 giveaway, 5-4 on faceoffs. So, a Nate Thompson game.
Meanwhile, Columbus won last night under their new coach. Here are your revised overall standings:
I do declare, it feels like I've been here before.