Taylor Pyatt - his game is really coming around; besides scoring the game winner he is becoming much more aggressive with his body in the corners and along the boards, skating with with speed and power, and finding his niche in front of the net.
The Sumo hockey team - talk about a disappointment; those pee-wee players skated circles around those guys; what a bunch of stiffs; back to the minors for you guys!
With the holidays approaching and all of us dreaming of gifts under the tree, the Islanders decided to give us an early gift of their own -- a solid 2-1 victory. In what may have been their most complete game of the season, the Isles looked like the team we had all hoped for. With contributions from some of their more unknown players, Taylor Pyatt and Mark Lawrence, and solid goaltending from the Beezer, the Isles were able to snap a five-game losing streak to the Hurricanes at home. More importantly, they did it without the services of Kenny Jonsson who injured his knee in the second period and did not return.
A Wang in the Win?
We surely can't tell whether Charles Wang's meeting with the Islanders had a direct effect on the outcome of the game, but who cares? The Islanders hit the ice and played some inspired hockey sacrificing all they had to get the win. You have to imagine that Mr. Wang's personal visit with the players and his caring attitude may have given support to the fragile confidence of this team right now.
Mario, Are You Sure?
One of the main reasons Lemieux left the game was because of the clutching and grabbing style of play that many of the teams were adopting. It was slowing down the game and not allowing the stars of the league to display their talents. Unfortunately, while many say that the referees have done an excellent job of reducing the interference, I just don't see it. Players are still hooking, clutching, grabbing, and holding the opposition and the refs are not making the calls. And what about the diving penalty? In the game against Toronto, Tie Domi took one of the worst dives I have ever seen and nothing was called. And then he had the nerve to question the ref about why a call wasn't made on the Islander who supposedly caused him to trip. If you send Domi to the sin bin for taking the dive maybe next time he will keep his swim trunks in his locker.
Note to Mario:
I wish you all the best in your comeback. You are great for the game and you have been missed dearly. However, don't be surprised, as you skate down the rink, to find about 10 guys on your back, your jersey pulled off, and Tie Domi standing in his bikini shorts at the blue line ready to take one of his famous dives.
Santa Claus is Coming to Town
There is nothing like the good old days, during Christmas time, when I would browse through all of the toy catalogs and make my list for Santa. Well I am all grown up now, but in the holiday spirit I am going to make a Christmas list of the things I want for the Islanders for the remainder of the season. So, here it goes...
I know you are an extremely busy guy this time of the year, but as a desperate Islander fan who has not seen the playoffs in seven years, surely you can make some of my wishes a reality. First off, I would really like a playoff berth in the 2000-01 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Now, I am not asking for a first seed here, just a spot in the playoffs...one measly spot. Second, I would really appreciate it if you could make sure Mario Lemieux scores
goals versus us in our remaining games with the Penguins. He has been an Islander killer in the past, and though it is like asking Bill Clinton to be faithful to his wife, please, please, stop Mario from putting the puck in our net. Thirdly, how about fostering a deal that would bring Ziggy Palffy back to the Isles? Imagine if Mr. Wang and Mr. Kumar were the owners here when we had Ziggy? WOW! Fourthly, could you leave a new goalie mask under the tree at the Vanbiesbrouck household? Don't get me wrong, I love the Beezer and he has been amazing for the Islanders, but that mask is killing me. What is with the blinding silver color at the top of the mask? Do we even have silver on our jerseys? Finally, deliver extra special presents and wishes to Mr. Wang, Mr. Kumar, and their families. They have gone out of their way to bring this franchise back to respectability and are doing it with patience, support, and communication.
P.S. There will be puck shaped cookies and ice milk near the tree for you this year!
(tid bits about the game you may have missed):
The Isles made the smart move by keeping Taylor Pyatt up with the big club. He is slowly improving his game and considering the ice time he was given last night, the sky is the limit for this kid. I think Rob DiMaio's head is still spinning in the corner of the Coliseum after that hit he took from Branislav Mezei last night. The Islanders can really turn the season around during this seven-game homestand. In their only other seven game home stand back in 1972 they went 1-5-1. Let's hope that doesn't happen again. I was ecstatic to see the Isles get the win against the Canes but their play in the middle of the third had me a bit worried. They returned to the defensive shell I described back in one of my previous articles and it really seemed as though they were playing to hold onto the lead rather than to increase it. Last I read on Kenny Jonsson was he was being evaluated today. Lets hope all is well. He has been playing some excellent hockey of late and it would really hurt to lose him during this crucial part of the season.
Kenny Jonsson will miss 3-4 weeks with a sprained MCL in his left knee.
Until next time..."Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Go Islanders!"