It's a shootout win, it's a gimmicky breakaway drill, it came after yet another blown late lead and an unconvincing OT.
But it's two points and that sort of feels good. Sort of.
Through good fortune and decent play, the Islanders found themselves entering the 3rd period with a 3-1 lead. Uh oh. In a breakdown worthy of the Boston performance, with six minutes left the collapse began. And 63 seconds later, 3-3 game. Adding a personal bit of torture to the experience, my cable box imploded and my dodgy Web video lagged the audio during the critical moments, so while the images looked innocent, Howie Rose was telling me not to believe my eyes, because the 3-1 lead was indeed disappearing.
But you probably don't want me to be
Debbie Downer Bettman Bummer after we were "treated" to the first win of the season. So, on to the positivity and video highlights:
How about this? Frans Nielsen: 8-1! John Tavares: 10-6. Josh Bailey: 12-4 (?!). Nate Thompson: 9-2. Oddly, Richard Park was the weaker guy at 4-5. What the hell got into them?
Breakaway Drill Shootout
Hey, Dwayne Roloson made a shootout save! And the three shooters made Cam Ward look normal. That was three perfectly executed shots -- the classic wrister from the slot by Jeff Tambellini, the Frans Nielsen signature backhand deke, and John Tavares doing 755 moves before pasting the puck off the inside of the upper post and bar to ice the first official Islanders win with Tavares in uniform. Not bad at all.
He didn't have Kyle Okposo to create magic on his line, but he still had Tavares and he still kept scoring. Went to the dirty area, took the hit to knock in a rebound. Do not fear the Moulson Train. Just enjoy it.
I don't expect to mention him much in the positivity section, so fair is fair: A goal, an assist -- even a +1 -- and he stood up for Tavares after the ridiculously late and high hit from Andrew "A is for A-hole" Alberts. Nice night for Sutton in 18:08 of ice time.
Busy night (26:55), but two poor penalties, and he was out there for the tying goal -- though in his defense, the fourth liners were running around at that point. He still finished +1. He is Mark Streit, and he is good.
As WebBard pointed out, the Isles were 3 for 4 on the PK (a bad penalty by Blake Comeau leading to the only one), Roloson was solid during the regulation game, and the Islanders offense did not depend solely on the first line.
Scott Gordon got, in part at least, what he wanted from this game -- including Nielsen and Okposo capturing some chemistry together and Moulson/Tavares not dropping off a bit.
That's the quick-and-dirty recap. More tomorrow for a back-to-back in Montreal. For now...: Islanders Win!