Scintillating hockey it was not.
But with five minutes and change left in the hockey game, the Islanders found themselves in a position to gain a point or two. Instead, a questionable call, questionable personnel, and an inability to score with the man advantage doomed the Islanders to another humiliating loss.
Period 1: ZzzZzzzZzZzzz...
The game started out dreadfully. Not that the Islanders played poorly. It was just two of the bottom feeders in the NHL playing like two of the bottom feeders in the NHL.
The Islanders outshot the Flames 11-5 in the first period, and had two prime scoring chances on 2-on-1 opportunities.
Thomas Vanek couldn't finish Kyle Okposo's feed on the first one, even though it was a trickle away from crossing the goal line. On the second, Cal Clutterbuck had to elevate his pass to Michael Grabner and it never landed, leading to the Islanders not even getting a shot attempt.
Period 2: Here we go again...
The second period was much of the same in the shot department. The Islanders topped Calgary 11-6 in the period. The problem was the Flames were able to connect on two of their chances, taking a 2-0 lead.
Frans Nielsen couldn't clear the defensive zone, and the puck eventually found the back of Joe Colborne. The puck then dropped right on Sean Monahan's stick, and he roofed it to break the scoreless tie.
The Flames added a second goal on their first power play of the game. Dennis Wideman wristed the puck top shelf and beat Evgeni Nabokov for a 2-0 lead with only two minutes left in the period.
It looked as though the score would stay that way into the intermission. But with only 10 seconds left in the period, Josh Bailey and Colin McDonald completed a nifty give and go. Unfortunately Bailey lost control of the puck, but Thomas Hickey was jumping up on the other side of the ice. He collected the puck and hit the open side of the net, cutting the Flames lead in half.
Period 3: Hope, Disgust, and Eric Boulton
The third period definitely started out the Islanders way. Building off the momentum of the late second period goal, the Isles would strike first in the period.
Calvin de Haan put a nice, low wristshot on net, that would beat Reto Berra and tie the score up at two. The play was aided by a nice screen by Vanek as he floated across the top of the crease as de Haan's shot was bearing down on net.
The score would remain tied for another 6:25. Then all things Isles happened.
The fourth line came on for their first shift in nearly 6 minutes. I'm sure in Coaching 101 they emphasize that it's always good to get your goon a shift with 5 and a half minutes left in a tie game.
Matt Stajan would float a puck from the side of the net that would hit the Nabokov's pads and fall behind him. The puck trickled into the net as Nabokov was pushed by David Jones, knocking the net off it's moorings.
The actual goal itself was good by definition. The obvious goaltender interference by Jones was not. Nor was the decision to finally get your fourth line some ice time.
The interference call was missed, but it was not glossed over because we're the Islanders, so let's try and not go there.
The Isles would find themselves with the man advantage for the final 3 minutes of this game (2 minute power play, 1 minute goalie pullage), but couldn't find the goal to equalize the game.
In the end, it was a typical game in Islanders Country. Losing at home to a team we should have beat on a goal that people will talk about...well, until the next time it happens.
Food For Thought:
- By the power of Greyskull...these Islanders have no power. The Islanders went 0 for 5 on the power play in tonight's game, and are now 0 for their last 30. While the first power play looked good, the rest did not. The Isles would only muster 6 shots on their five power plays.
- Monahan's goal was the first goal Evgeni Nabokov would allow in his last 99:16.
- John Tavares lead all Islanders in TOI with 25:13, topping any Islanders defenseman by almost 4 minutes (de Haan 21:24). It was also only 34 seconds less than game leader Mark Giordano. Interestingly, Andrew MacDonald had his third lowest TOI (19:59) of the season. The large amount of power play time probably had something to do with the TOI numbers.
- Thomas Vanek gave Grath Snow, Islanders fans, and prospective buyers a scare at the end of the second period. After making a pass on an odd man rush (when he probably should've shot it), Giordano barreled him into the boards. Vanek struggled to get to the Islanders bench, in obvious pain. Luckily he returned in the third, playing over 24 minutes for the game.
Not to Mention:
The Islanders traded forwards Pierre-Marc Bouchard and Peter Regin to the Blackhawks for a 4th round draft pick in the 2014 draft. The Islanders also retained 50% of the salary the two players were making.
#Isles announce they have sent both Peter Regin and Pierre-Marc Bouchard to CHI for a 4th round pick in 2014— Katie Strang (@KatieStrangESPN) February 7, 2014
So in essence, Garth Snow signed a 4th round draft pick to play forward for the Islanders this past summer. The losses keep piling up tonight.
- Islanders vs. Flames: Five questions with Matchsticks & Gasoline
- Andrew MacDonald on Islanders Contract Talks, Trade Rumors: 'Garth has a decision to make'
- Islanders News: Brock Nelson blessing; Yet more Vanek; Johnny T's papa
- Andrew MacDonald's Trade Value: Three 2013 Deals that Make Us Hopeful (or Realistic)
- [Bits] Vanek Depression, Nabby Castle Magic and Purple Viz at Red House