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Recap Notes/1993 Ceremony: Sharks 3, Islanders 2 (OT)

Not gonna lie: I still miss you.
Not gonna lie: I still miss you.

The Islanders' ability to outshoot the Sharks in a mostly tied game last night was probably influenced to an unquantifiable degree by the Sharks playing back-to-back nights on the road. That "yes but" factor aside, if the Islanders turn in more efforts like that, the goal scoring will come.

It's unsettling and scary and defies comforting absolutes to talk of luck and bounces -- much like random OT penalties that go against you -- but here it is: If they create the chances they created last night, sometimes that will equal four goals for (and sometimes, maddeningly, none).

GS | ES | H2H | Shifts | Corsi | Zones | Recaps: NHL | Isles | LHH +/- | SBN

Last night was one of the stronger signs this season that the team can put out four lines that might function at once. If luck, or bounces, or "finishing" had gone better, we might be discussing some "statement" win or other such confidence-boosting reaction. Instead we have a consolation point in the last two of a five-game winless streak.

Lots of great discussion in our post-game plus/minus thread, so thanks for that and I won't bother rehashing everything here -- this post is more for our record-keeping/archival purposes.

But three takeaways I had:

1. The Jay Pandolfo - Marty Reasoner - Matt Martin line: As a checking line/defensive zone faceoff (including in the final minute of a tied game), they did well and that's a nice sign. For any Isles fans who feel Pandolfo or Reasoner have been "absent" or "quiet," I would just offer that they are so because their job is often to make the Joe Thorntons of the world "quiet" too. It's a trade-off you hope can work to free up other lines to generate offense in more favorable matchups. Now if those other lines would just finish...

As with Steve Staios, I have my doubts about Pandolfo working out for a full season, but so far he's done his job. And not taken crippling penalties {looks accusingly at Staios}.

2. Rick DiPietro: It's not about the saves, it's about the movement. Stupid as this sounds, I'm more focused on his movement than his saves. Last year we saw his glove was still fast. (Last night, of course, it got beaten twice.) Not too worried about that. Goalies are tough to gauge over 20, 40, even 60 games, so I'm not going to eval RDP after 60+ minutes. But his sliding way out of the crease -- to be fair, his counterpart at the other end also did this -- after an initial shot is the symptom I'll be watching for. Whether or not the ability to stop a slide, recover, and push back is related to his injury rehab and post-rehab adjustments, it's an issue if he can't stay square to where shots are coming from. Not judging now, just watching.

3. Guardedly, another night of improvement from the third line. I've stopped trying to guess what is in the head, the development and the future of Blake Comeau and Josh Bailey, and I'd love to know if and by how much Brian Rolston might hold them back. So as long as they're together, I'm looking for signs that they can function as a third line. Aside from individual hiccups (Bailey was one of two Islanders to register zero shots), last night was one of those nights.

Annoyingly, the team has to again wait until Thursday for their next game, and I'm not confident in how they perform coming off that long of a layoff. But if they were facing the Jets tomorrow, I'd be confident in their chances coming off this OT loss.

P.S. I was highly irritated by the blown call in OT. But of course it could have been a random stick break, slip, or other bad break. What irks me about this one is more as a hockey fan in general: It's a somewhat dubious rule in the book (one I support, but still one that is prone to bad luck), so it's one I'd prefer the refs be damn sure about before they call it. Particularly in OT. "I didn't see it hit the glass" is different than "I saw its path the full way and know it did not hit the glass."


Game Highlights (again)


Post-Game Links

You can watch post-game interviews as well as the full 1993 ceremony in these MSG clips at the official site. Vlad Malakhov still looks quite young. Includes a message to the team on the board from Al Arbour:

Some great quotes from the 1993 team in the official site write-up.

And here's Staple on Darius Kasparaitis.

A somber thought that just came to me is the tragedy Pierre Turgeon experienced last year. So tough. Doing the math ... oomph, 1992-93 was a big year for him in many ways.


Capuano on the Game: 'One of the best games we've played ... all four lines'

NHL Re-alignment talk: From the CBC via Puck Daddy last night: This proposed four-conference alignment would be awesome, would make too much sense, would keep the Isles in a tough division, and would piss off the Penguins. That's win-win-lose-win there.

FIG winners: A few winners from last night. Never hurts to pick JT.