The Islanders came out last night like it was October. I saw hits. I saw chaos. I saw hard-work. I saw effort. And from it, things happened. Comrie worked the puck, causing a ruckus. Bill Guerin sat at the doorstep with his stick on the ice, at the ready. Bergie was pinballing and driving the Yotes nuts. Trent Hunter was hitting like he wanted to start quoting Ezekiel 25:17.
Yes, Phoenix climbed back into it. The Isles still have a slight issue with back to back games. They looked fatigued in the 3rd period. A vast difference from the team that physically closed out teams in the 3rd a few months ago. But that aside, they still held on. And yes, they might have NOT turned their corner of shaky play, but it was good to see just the same.
Of course, there is the scrum at the end of the 3rd. Ricky was holding the puck too long, per Shane Doan, who clearly was also frustrated by him being stonewalled when on the doorstep, as well. So the Phoenix players were hacking and trying to disrupt him. Rick took offense. Punches were thrown.
Per Ted Nolan, there will be a talking to with Ricky over that.
Kudos must go to Bill Guerin, who fought through his own slump and responsibilities as captain, by being the in the right place to get the goals. This is the simple difference between bad-Bill and good-Bill. If you play the type of game he did last night, slump or not, he will make things happen. Comrie could have easily scored instead or Tank. And thats what a first line should be doing each time . . . creating the situation. If they focus on that instead of the actual goals and tallies, they will be far better off.
To those Tambellini watchers, they watched him go back to Bridgeport. Nolan, in the Buffalo game, found that Tambs line was not even getting out of their own defensive zone. Instead, Jackman was brought up, who the Isles believe is the right type of guy with a combo of physical prowess and game skills, to be a more apt Nolan-player. Because of that Nolan-type player issues, which Nolan has had before with same players: See Nilsson, it makes me believe that Tambellini might just be the piece that is shed for help later one.
A Funny Thing About the Mike Richards Contract . . .
A funny thing about the Mike Richards contract. Not that the guy isn't worth the investment. Nor Philly for making that type of commitment. Extremely smart. Nope, I have not one problem...except for the fact those same talking heads and punditry who had much differing comments about Charles Wang and Garth Snow as they wrapped up DiPietro for 15 years.
As many spout, and they are deserved, over Mike Richards, the same could have been said of Rick. Investing in character. Investing in leadership. Making a move to have a franchise player when that "special guy" comes onboard. Sure he, as goalie, won't be captain, but still, one has to give Wang his due for actually setting that trend.
''Crazy,'' one NHL GM told TSN. ''Just (expletive deleted) crazy.'"
Guess not, bud.
But everyone so effusive on the Richards deal better review their own words on the DiPietro deal. Humblepie, anyone?
The only thing that is an issue at these longterm barnburners is that they cannot be insured for the entire length of the contract. In other words, owners and teams can not be covered by any compensation if something happens to that player where and if their career is detrimented by an injury. It goes out of their own pocket, and thus the teams. Once this happens, there might be a complete revision to the bubbling doubletalk on how great this commitment really is. Long-term contracts are chancy. Short-term for potentially great players also are chancy in an era of free agency. So pick your poison.