At Ye Ole Barclays Center, the Isles of York took on the Flames of Cal & Gary in a spirited match of bottom-feeding hockey clubs.
A despondent Ryan Strome was a healthy scratch for the second game in a row, for reasons of which even he is not aware, or at least hasn't been adequately informed of what he can do better. I look forward to when he is traded to the Lightning for Ryan Callahan and he tears it up in Tampa under a real coach in Jon Cooper.
Looks like 15 or so teams represented by scouts here tonight. TBL, PHI, CBJ, EDM among them. #Isles do not list scouts individually.— Arthur Staple (@StapeNewsday) November 29, 2016
To be fair, they could all be scouting Dougie Hamilton, who is rumored to be on the block. Still, I fear a panic trade is imminent for the Islanders. They have no leverage. It should go swimmingly. Thisisfine.jpeg.
ANYWAY, on to the hockey!
First Period: An early goal, an only goal
Cal Clutterbuck took a tripping penalty with 14:58 left in the first after a quick moving first five minutes. The Flames couldn't get anything generated there, but shortly after the penalty expired, John Tavares forced T.J. Brodie to turn the puck over. He then poked it to Josh Bailey, who carried it across the blue line in an odd-man rush with Tavares and Anthony Beauvillier, and hit Tavares cutting to the net with a backwards, backhand pass that Tavares roofed past Brian Elliott.
The Islanders were able to sustain some offensive zone pressure following the goal, and Clutterbuck drew a penalty on Deryk Engelland. They weren't able to pot another, but they created plenty of opportunities, especially PP2. In particular, Shane Prince did a good job retrieving a couple of loose pucks to keep the play alive, and Johnny Boychuk had his slapper engaged.
Clutterbuck ripped one off the post off a great cross-ice look from Beauvillier. The post rang loudly, though perhaps it was just a reflection of the attendance (or lack thereof) at the cavernous Barclays Center.
They controlled play for most of the period, although Calgary seems to be plagued by the same shot generation issues they have been for the last few seasons. Most people attributed their previous issues to Bob Hartley and his stretch passes and dump-ins.
Some Flames fans and bloggers have commented on how Glen Gulutzan seems to have his own issues, such as the misevaluation of talent that has Hamilton on the bottom pair playing only 17 minutes a night. Have to wonder what would Bruce Boudreau could have done with some of the talent on that roster. Though those in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.
Second Period: In the blink of an eye
This game would have made George Costanza proud: "we're making incredible time here!"
Micheal Ferland, another Calgary player with a hilariously misspelled first name (haha Deryk, he comes up again later), smashed Adam Pelech into the boards along the benches, and he may have caught the stanchion and hurt his neck. He hopped right off the ice, tried to stretch out on the bench, but ultimately left the game.
Thomas Greiss wasn't terribly busy in the first two periods, but he stepped up on the few good chances the Flames did have, including a chance for Matt Stajan.
Prince caught an elbow to the jaw from Engelland that could've potentially been a major, but was only a two-minute minor. We'll see if he receives a call from the Department of Player Safety. Prince wouldn't leave the game.
The Isles had a few chances on the power play, as well as one right as it ended. Andrew Ladd carried the puck up the wing and held it until the goal line, reaching around the outstretched stick of a Flames defender to feed Bailey all alone in front. The pass was in his skates, though, and Elliott was able to corral it.
Third Period: What else is new
The Flames pressed hard early on in the third while the Islanders sat back. After some extended offensive zone time, Kris Versteeg found Monahan in the slot to knot the game at one.
Greiss had to keep the Isles in the game in the third, as the Flames continued to generate chances after breaking the shutout. This could be why the Flames had so many chances early in the period, courtesy of Garik.
By the final eight minutes, however, the game opened up for both sides, with both teams' top lines trading odd-man rushes. Bear in mind, however, that Calgary was without their best player in Johnny Gaudreau.
The Isles' speed was actually evident for a change, and it led to Prince drawing another penalty. A power play in the final five minutes of a tie game should motivate a team to try to score a goal, but they couldn't get anything going. Jack Capuano was firmly in "get a point" mode, and get a point they would.
Overtime: Oh, THIS is new
3-on-3 OT was exciting as always. Thankfully, the Flames didn't have Gaudreau at their disposal - 3-on-3 was practically designed for him. (Article is from last season, though.)
Tavares appeared to take a high stick early on and Brock Nelson quickly jumped on to replace him, and forced a turnover. Johnny would be back, though.
Jason Chimera found himself on a breakaway but lifted the puck over the net with his backhand. It felt like it was going to be another one of those nights.
The Islanders had other ideas, it seemed. Prince and Thomas Hickey came on together and kept the puck in the Calgary zone. John Tavares jumped over the bench, held the puck, and deflected it off of Hickey for the game-winning goal. He seems to have the Midas touch in OT, that Hickey boy.
Hey, they got two points. They're going to need a lot more than that if they think they have any chance at even sniffing the wild card, but they had to start somewhere. And next game doesn't exactly have the feel of a two-point game: the Islanders take on the Penguins at Barclays Center on Wednesday night at 8:00 p.m. on NBCSN for Wednesday Night Rivalry.
As if the impending 7-1 blowout on national TV wasn't enough, we'll likely have to listen to one of Mike Milbury or Jeremy Roenick (or both). Still, enjoy tonight, folks. A win's a win.