A home win in the elegant retro blues with Kyle Okposo scoring yet again (though credit to the PP rather than the Kid Line this time)? Nice.
I was sorry to miss this one live -- big thanks to the Litter Box Cats gang for trying to stir up an active game thread here. You know, all the real Islanders fans were at the game, I'm sure ;-) The game thread is an acquired taste.
In a quick skim of the game, I was stunned by Bill Guerin's many dekes through the Panthers defense that took him all the way to the net for a great chance in the second. His pretty spinaround for his second goal was less flashy but with a better payoff. Big ups to Thomas Vokoun for the gimme on Mike Comrie's goal to open scoring.
Most interesting stat standout: Thomas Pock with a meager 8:45 of TOI. A recognition of his ceiling? Just coincidence of special teams situations? The next lowest total was his partner Chris Campoli with 14:53. The other four D had 20+ minutes. An ex-Ranger waiver claim, Pock has always struck me as a #7 at best -- at least at this point in his career.
Speaking of D, Scott Gordon on continuing adjustments/improvement to defensive coverage:
Since the beginning of December we started to touch on things that we needed to clean up. It's been a work in progress but it's getting better. Obviously having guys in the lineup that are in shape now because they're not coming off the injury list makes it that much better.
Gordon also had very kind words for K.O. and Yann Danis -- who was just a couple minutes shy of a shutout before the Disciplinarian's son stole it from him like an incongruent suspension. Have to say The Maven's between-period interview with Mike Comrie put Comrie in a good, insightful light. Let's hear it for thoughtful player interviews for the fans!
Not sure what to make of this three-game win streak. Suddenly the Islanders are just four points back of 29th-place Atlanta -- with two games in hand. At least this win came at home, in front of fans who deserve a good show.
But for the second consecutive game at the Coliseum, the Panthers didn't bring their best stuff. Surely they'll be thinking revenge in the rematch next week -- but then you'd think that would have been the case tonight after their New Year's no-show ... wouldn't you?