Ah, now that was the late season, garbage-time disaster you more expect when a playoff team with home ice in its sights takes on a team that can see the end 24 hours away. If the Islanders bother to show up Sunday, I guess we can infer they were saving themselves for the final home game of the year. After being stoned by their former backup Scott Clemmensen the other night, the Devils decided to pepper Biron with shots from everywhere. It worked.
Chances are you: (1) Did something better with your Saturday night, or (2) Watched some of the other more exciting hockey on, from AHL to NCAA to elsewhere in the NHL. So you might want a recap of what happened.
Sorry, this is all I've got on that front: Martin Biron was bad. So were the skaters. Sean Bergenheim left with an upper body injury. Matt Moulson scored his 29th. Micheal Haley in his NHL debut got a fight with Rod Pelley, probably a draw. Trevor Gillies too, but I was pursuing other hockey at the time.
More significant once this game was out of reach (which is to say, once this game began), Bridgeport clinched a playoff spot with their 2-0 win -- Greg Mauldin scored. And Florida-Tampa Bay went to a shootout, so the lottery slots are still amusingly up in the air on the final day. Oh, also: Karma came calling in Atlanta -- Evander Kane knocked Matt Cooke out cold with one punch (video after the jump).
This Couldn't Happen to a Nicer Guy
Yeah, so that has nothing to do with the Islanders game, but it was better than the Isles game. I mean, dirty-hitting, injury-seeking Matt Cooke receiving a bit of payback from the hockey gods is pretty good news, no? I can count on one hand the number of NHLers I'd like to see this happen to. Cooke is the thumb.
I'm sure if you look hard enough, Moulson's goal is in there somewhere -- a nice bat-out-of-the-air off a powerplay assist from John Tavares.
Ten different guys were minus-2 or worse, so the futility was well balanced throughout the lineup. Including in goal.
I'll just say this about Biron: After getting the bulk of starts in this stretch to end the season, in his final two starts he reverted to the weakest parts of his game. Most of us like him because of his personality, his instinct to stick up for teammates, his likability. But the flaws in his game were on display these last two nights: Inconsistent positioning, intermittent concentration -- or whatever it is that leads one to leave the short-side open -- a general failure to stay square to the shot with an eye toward the rebound.
I'm not saying he should or shouldn't be a candidate for an encore as backup next year -- I don't like to knee-jerk after a couple of bad games. But what we've seen from him this season is the book on him: You will get good days, and you will get days like this.
If this game were less of a laugher, or if it mattered for anything beyond pride, I'd dig up more detail. But not now. Not after 81 games and another one tomorrow afternoon (5 p.m. EDT start). That's all for now. But there is an entertaining schedule in the NHL tomorrow.