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Like clockwork, goalie-versy underlines Islanders' loss to Panthers

Denis Potvin was wondering last night why Scott Gordon went with just-returned Joey MacDonald when his fill-in Yann Danis had won the last four, and so was I. So was Islanders Outsider. So was 7th Woman in the joint game thread at Litter Box Cats, and later at her homestead. Potvin even queried Garth Snow about it (without divulging the response).

Safe to say, Joey Mac has shown himself to be a fine goalie this year. But as he just came back from injury, and we're in full roster evaluation stage, why not see how long Danis can run with this (now expired) four-game win streak? I mean, the team has decisions to make with both of these guys.

Game Summary | Event Summary | nhl.com Recap (AP)


Final - 2.5.2009 1 2 3 Total
New York Islanders 0 2 0 2
Florida Panthers 2 1 0 3

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That's not putting the loss on Joey, either -- that second goal was a hideous friendly-fire screen by Andy Hilbert. But with Gordon's allergy to using Danis during MacDonald's 17-game start streak, and his "tough love" comments even after Danis was doing well, it gives one pause. Potvin said, "One thing's certain -- it's not what Peter DeBoer would do," meaning the Panthers similarly agressive coach is prone to going with the hot hand.

It's a stretch to call it a "goalie controversy" when nothing but spoiling one's lottery chances is at stake. But when I saw Danis's play and expected such a battle, I thought it would be the traditional night-to-night, have-an-off-game-and-sit variety. Instead, no.

Well, it gives us something to think about while digesting the sight of centers Doug Weight and Nate Thompson return to the injured list. (Weight ended up being fine, and played till the end; Thompson got all of 2 minutes before leaving with a shoulder injury.)

Random Note Run-Down

Ah well. Jay Bouwmeester demonstrated why he's a hot commodity. (Longshot it may be, I hope Garth gives him a call this summer.) ... Josh Bailey had a sweet game except for the late giveaway ... And how many times have we seen Trent Hunter score goals down low like that? ... Nice comeback, and nice final-minute pressure by the Isles ... I caught the first period on MSG+ bantering with the Litter Box Cats, then came home to watch the Panthers feed on DVR. Just wanted to hear Potvin's voice for nostalgia's sake. Potvin: "This Islanders power play is the youngest in the NHL right now." He wrongly said Weight should have been penalized for belting Peltonen at the end, but the puck was right there ... Richard Zednik -- what can be said about that highlight-reel goal? You're insane.

Stranges sight of the night: Don King on the Panthers' 2nd intermission report, no doubt promoting some organized violence I'm sure. Any sight of King is kind of like seeing Don Cherry: Fairly foul, often offensive, frequently jingoist -- yet somehow mesmerizing and hilarious. ... Speaking of entertaining: Thomas Vokoun's anti-tobacco commericals on FSN are priceless. You see his eyes carefully read left-to-right, you hear his thick Czech accent (which is like childhood to me), and as someone with a village of Czech relatives myself, it's difficult to picture any of them swearing off smoking.