Last night the Islanders lost 4-0 to a team that had played the night before and did not return until very early Saturday morning after their flight back from New Jersey. It was also a showdown of Victor Hedman vs. John Tavares, two draft picks that that will be debated for many years to come.
It would only be fitting for Hedman to score his first NHL goal when he would be playing Tavares. Congratulations to him, and I am sure that there will be many more to come.
I will admit, I was away this weekend and didn't get to watch the game. I did my homework and read up a bit as well as watched the highlights. The Islanders seemed to generate some good scoring chances but were unable to find the twine. Of what I saw, Kyle Okposo had a very strong game. He drove hard to the net and got off a few shots, including one that rang off the pipe when the game was still 2-0. If that went in the game could have turned out completely different.
The Islanders will get a chance to redeem themselves for this game, as well as for the last time they played the Flyers and let up a late goal in the third period. You know, the one that led to Gordon becoming a visibly angry coach during the press conference for the first time that I can remember. Yeah, that one. I expect Gordon to have that fresh in their memory before the start of that game.
It's also good to know that the Islanders only have two more games to play on the road before returning to New York with six out of the next eight games being played at the Coliseum. The two that aren't home are at MSG against our best friends, the New York Rangers. These rivalry games that are coming up should be able to spark some life into this team and maybe get them on the right track. That's not to say they have been playing without a pulse, they just need to get back into a steady flow of things and win a few games in a row instead of trading wins for losses.
In other news, Rick DiPietro stopped 10 of 13 shots for his 2009-10 hockey debut. According to Chris Botta's blog at www.islanderspointblank.com
, (who was able to attend the game) DP looked a little rusty as expected. He played the first two periods after not seeing a lot of rubber in the first. Rusty or not, it's great to see that Ricky was involved in a win, made 10 saves, and was back on the ice for a professional hockey game.
Anyone want to start placing bets on when he will be ready to play for the Islanders?
Mine is right around New Year's.