At some point, something's gotta give. We keep saying that but one day it will happen: The Islanders will toss another W into this series that has the Flyers taking at least a point (and usually more) in 24 of the last 25, this series that has the Islanders last win in Philadelphia coming in April 2007.
The moral victory was last week at home, when Sergei Bobrovsky stood firmly in the way of good Islanders play that should have built off the win over Detroit. This time the challenge is harder, on the road, with no patience for moral victories even in the context of the best few weeks of play in this otherwise far from "best of" anything season.
Also last game, apparently Steve Staios did something unpenalized, unreviewed and unsuspended (and unconfirmed if an elbow was even involved) yet there are cries for revenge in the name of the clean and virtuous shelled reptile Maxime Talbot. What's great -- and so consistent with the history of Talbot -- is that "even Talbot himself" appears to be the fifth option on the list of vigilantes.
If Talbot can do what he does throughout his career yet not stand up for himself even against Steve Staios, well then you understand why Matt Martin said enough's enough and crossed the line last season attempting to collect on Talbot's bill.
Adding extra amusement, Staios didn't even play in Tuesday night's 3-0 victory in D.C. and quite possibly won't tonight. With Dylan Reese exhibiting himself well, most would hope Staios doesn't get the chance to be an issue. (Here is Staios' fight history at HockeyFights.com, by the way. You hardly have to look up Talbot's, as t-shirts usually mark the occasion.)
Newsday's preview is on the top pairing of Andrew MacDonald and Travis Hamonic, and how they've come along after a slow start (mostly due to MacDonald, to these eyes).
Fun side game pointed out by Eric Hornick: Pull for PAP! His next point would be his 40th, giving the Isles three 40-point guys, and -- if he hurries -- getting him to 40 before Zach Parise.
On the other side, the believable panic in Philly this week was the thought the Flyers might try to add yet another goalie (hey, we recommend four, minimum!). Turns out the original kernel from Elliotte Friedman's always-excellent 30 Thoughts was not revealing a trade rumor, but rather more about how other GMs say the Flyers will do anything to win. Which is true; they'd even bring in Max Talbot.
(Speaking of too many goalies, the SI slideshow and retrospective on Rick DiPietro's saga so far is, well it's something.)
The Flyers have been without James van Riemsdyk due to a concussion, but as with Chris Pronger's absence, they mostly keep rolling on.
Leave your First Islanders Goal picks in this thread, and hope Bobrovsky doesn't make them moot.