The only thing more frustrating last night than the officials’ bizarre, conflicting interpretations of broken sticks was the Islanders’ maddening cough-up of a 2-0 third-period lead in the eventual overtime loss.
After the referees started randomly calling penalties in the second, there was an aggravating sequence where Simon Holmstrom was called for “slashing” when he reached for the puck and a Wing broke his own stick on the attempted shot, followed by J-G Pageau’s stick — while already shorthanded — breaking in similar fashion, with no equalizing or make-up call.
But Casey Cizikas delivered a Classic Cizikas moment on the PK, forcing a turnover, leading up the left wing, and then turning on the jets from the neutral zone in to pot the game’s first goal past Ville Husso. It was one of those moments that will be forgotten, part of an early-season, overtime loss — except it’s the kind of Cizikan (can we make that a word?) effort, situational awareness and decision-making that will define our memory of his career, which is now up to 827 combined NHL regular season and playoff games.
Cizikas was the intermission interview for Shannon Hogan, who asked about the plan heading into the third, and Cizikas outlined exactly what the Isles needed to do. Except after getting themselves an early insurance goal from Noah Dobson...they didn’t do that.
About last night:
- Jenny runs down the highs and lows. [LHH]
- Asked about the turnover-fueled rally, Cizikas said preventing it is an “easy fix.” [Post]
- Lots of chances, too many chances, for both teams. [THN]
- 3 Takeaways: (More like 3 Giveaways, amirite?) [Isles]
- Scott Mayfield joined the morning skate but his return still isn’t imminent. The Isles are leaning on some guys while slowly giving Samuel Bolduc a little more to do. [Newsday]
- Prospect Report: Alexander Ljungkrantz has the kind of night that will eventually force me to remember how to spell his name without a cheat sheet. [Isles]
- Brock Nelson, Kyle Palmieri and Pierre Engvall on continuing their chemistry from last year. [THN]
Lots of scores from last night, including the Penguins losing in regulation to the pesky Ducks, and the Smurfs getting past the Jets in OT.
- The tragic death of Adam Johnson sparks a bit of talk about neck guards. [Post]
- Hayley Wickenheiser calls for neck protection “at every level.” [TSN | Sportsnet]
- Two of Johnson’s former teammates recall what a great guy he was. [Sportsnet]
- It’s late October, and pennystock Kieffer Bellows has landed-ish with the AHL Toronto Marlies on a PTO. [TSN]
- Injuries mean the Leafs need to lean more on old man Mark Giordano. [Sportsnet]