Islanders Fall For Stars

 *DISCLAIMER *
 Well before this game had started , I had suffered from a terrible day and was already upset . I had started a “voyage” with Captain Morgan and was on my way out to sea when the game started . So , like any good blogger , I was taking note of the game , but as the game went on , my note became much more difficult to read , so if I miss something from the third period , forgive me . My notes were by then completely illegible . *End of disclaimer*

 The pre-game show “Stars Live” usually has Craig Ludwig and John Radigan talking about what we can expect from Our Stars with Ralph Strangis and “Razor” Reaugh , the local announcers . I almost always enjoy it except for when Rick (or Ric or however the hell he spells it)  Renner is on with Ludwig . Renner is just too much . This time , however , they had Dana Larson on with Ludwig . She reminds me of one of those grey skinned aliens with the triangle shaped heads and slanted huge eyes . I hope that will be her last appearance on the show .
 Anyway , Ludwig , Razor and Ralph were all talking about how each individual player needs to do their each individual jobs . To me , that sounded hauntingly familiar . They also talked about how well Robidas has stepped up and taken over where Zubov has left off . They talked about The Cap’n playing very well despite the terrible loss in our last game . Razor and Ludwig pointed at Ribeiro and said that he needed to get his game going because somebody for Our Stars needed to start putting up consistent points . I was wondering which one of Our Stars were going to grow a pair and get things started for the team this season . This game answered the question of who has a pair and who doesn’t .

 When the game started , I was a little surprised to see that Tippett had reunited The Cap’n and Ribs . The Islanders attacked immediately , but Our Stars would not allow them to get going . Sean Avery was checked into the Islanders’ bench and while he was picking himself up off the ice , Okposo was a little too unfriendly in the way he was helping Avery up and took a roughing call for Our Stars first powerplay . The powerplay was dominated by Our Stars’ puck cycling . After they wore out the Islanders’ defense , Eriksson deflected Ribeiro’s shot past DiPietro for the game’s first goal . Just after this goal , I noticed that Daley had still not gotten his “game legs” on and was still struggling just like he did in the last game . The Islanders started their first real attack but Our Stars ALL (emphasis on ALL) came back to help out Marty . Barch put a hit on Witt a short time later that ended Witt’s night . He crawled off the ice in obvious pain and did not return to the game . On the television  broadcast , they were talking about the Islanders’ new coach and I had to laugh at the fact that right behind him (in a nearly empty arena) sat a Dallas Stars jersey wearing fan . That made me laugh . Hard . Comrie managed to get a break away attack on Marty but Our Stars counter-punched and The Cap’n scored the game’s second goal . Bergenheim was called for holding and Daley fouled up enough that the Islanders did not have too much defensive work to do to kill off the powerplay . The powerplay did generate enough momentum that Our Stars still scored almost as soon as the powerplay ended with a back hand shot from close in by Loui Erikssonthat took the top shelf route past DiPietro . The Islanders tried to attack back , but they could not beat Marty or even get past a swarming group of five Dallas Stars . When this period ended , I was very pleased with Our Stars performance .

 The second period started out with an attack by the Isles , but they still could not get past the swarm of Stars . Robidas hit a Isle player knee on knee and the entire New York team went over to assault poor Robi . Avery stood up for Robi , but all they both received for their efforts was time in the penalty box and Avery’s penalty was a double minor (I still say the knee hit was accidental) . The resulting five on three play may have been terrifying , but Fistric and Boucher both blocked shots for Marty . Well , at least until Boucher went to the box for supposedly cross-checking . Our Stars stood up to the full two minutes of five on three and sent away the Isles with out a goal . Then Our Stars were forced to kill off Boucher’s minor , but it did not seem to matter . That powerplay ended rather abruptly when the Isles took a ‘too many men on the ice’ penalty and caused a four on four situation . Our Stars got fumbled up much later and Guerin scored his second goal of the season . Our Stars seemed to disapprove of this and they countered by Barch tipping a shot from The Cap’n past DiPietro . Avery was clotheslined by Bergenheim a little later and he took yet another time out seated in the little plexi-glass cage (one has to wonder if Bergenhein has his seat in there engraved with his name on it ). Our Stars , again , cashed in on the powerplay when Mo spied Ribs right on DiPietro’s backdoor uncovered . He scored what was essentially an empty net goal . At this point in the game , Razor was calling this a “public flogging” and even a complete “dismantling” of the Islanders . I was glad to see it . 

 After two minutes had passed in the third period , Comrie stepped on Fistric’s stick and drew a tripping call (I have to remember to do that myself) while throwing himself into the end boards . Our Stars stopped paying attention to who was knocking at the backdoor and Marty was beaten by Streit to end their powerplay early (I do not think they should have had it in the first place) . Boucher was called for interference much later , but Streit hit The Cap’n in the back and was called for boarding . (Play stopped at this point seemingly so that the players could watch the Stars and Isles fans fight off ice . Hmm…. I did not know the fighting worked both on ice and off . Nifty . I wonder why the Stars fans were the ones being ushered out of the arena . I bet they were the ones who won the fight .) With two seconds (give or take hundredths of seconds) the Isles scored the game’s final goal . When this happened , I started chanting in my living room ,”It just doesn’t matter !” My wife was less than pleased about it , too . Especially since my kids were in bed .

 This win was really earned . Our Stars showed up to the game with the mindset to win . From the beginning of the game they played well . They fought along the boards , won puck battles and won faceoffs .

 Holy puck support , Batman ! I was afraid that Our Stars had forgotten how to take care of their goalie and each other . This game they were all over the puck and eager to help out . They all did their own individual jobs and did not worry about their teammates doing their own job . If their teammate did mess up , someone was there to help out . That is why you have teammates . You are all in it together .

 Not only was puck support supplied in massive quantities (at least until that last stupid goal) but they also blocked shots . That was something that they missed on against New Jersey pitifully . Boucher led the team by blocking seven shots . Every defenseman had at least one blocked shot (except for Niskanen) and Mo , The Cap’n , Lundqvist and Richards even took a few in various parts of their bodies to help out Marty . What a huge turn around from our last game . 
 
 Blocking shots was not even the best part of Our Stars’ defensive game . Every time there was a shot on Marty , somebody with the right colour jersey was there to catch the rebound (if there was one) . This was a vast improvement from just leaving Marty and Tobias Stephane to die back there like they had been .

 And speaking of Marty , not all the shots he faced were easy to stop . He stood tall in the net and took away some quality chances from the Isles . He did not allow any of the garbage past him that he has in the last few games . The last goal (in my mind) does not count . That was just blind luck wanting to let the Isles look like they played better than they really did .

 The only two real issues that I had with the game that I will mention is that the defense still allowed odd man rushes at Marty and that Daley was really struggling to get his game on . The odd man rushes must be stopped and Daley has got to wake up before the game and not during it . Niether can continue or our opponents will find those weaknesses and exploit them .

 I agreed with the three Stars of the game that were picked by the local media in New York (surprise) so I am giving out the fourth , fifth and sixth Stars of the game .
  4. Marty Turco – He may not have been challenged as much this game as in New Jersey , but he made the Isles work for the two goals they did earn (I already said the last one did not count). Most importantly , he was not “hung out to dry” this game by his own team . All he had to do this time was stop pucks , not make plays .
  5. Stephane Robidas AND Phillipe Boucher – They both  worked hard and did the jobs that they know how to do . Robi taking and giving hits and Boucher banging shots on net . It was just like the “good old days” . Now if we could just get Zubov healthy……..
  6. Mike Modano – You would not think that I am not really a Modano fan with as often as he has made it on my Stars list , but when you play well , you deserve recognition . I have to give credit where it is due . He has done very well early in this season despite the “bumps in the road” .

 I really hope that Our Stars can take the Capitals out when they come to the AAC . Maybe Lehtinen will have come back by then . Speaking of missing players , has anyone heard anything more about Doug Janik ?

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~ by Adam on October 24, 2008.

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