Well, we're just back from Isles vs. Capitals, a holiday afternoon affair. It was certainly a day of firsts; some exciting, some disappointing.
Today we witnessed the Islanders' first loss of the season (2-1). It was the first time that the team looked at times noticeably flat. The first period got off to a great start, and the Isles led 1-0 after 20:00 (Richard Park, 1st of season). However, the team didn't quite have the jump they began with and allowed the Caps to tie the score at 1 about 8 minutes into the 2nd period. The home squad let a golden opportunity slip by when they were awarded a 5 on 3 advantage for a whopping 1:35, but failed to score. One of the telling signs in the period was the Islanders out shooting Washington 16-3 in the frame, but never putting one past Kolzig.
The play picked up decidedly in the final period, when the Isles themselves killed off a 5 on 3, but DiPietro allowed a rebound with just over 12 minutes left to play and Brooks Laich didn't miss his chance.
Continuing the theme, today we heard the first smattering (not a chorus, mind you) of boos directed toward the home squad. Many fans felt that this was a game where the Isles should have come away with at least a point, and failed to do so.
On a strictly personal level, this blog (and the NYI BLOG BOX crew!) had their first-ever story published in a major sports publication. Kudos to Richard Deitsch of Sports Illustrated for shedding some light on this very fun project we're all partaking in. He even worked in a quote from yours truly (Ken Dick) and while it isn't the first time my blogging work has been featured in a sports mag, it is the first for Okposo Net. You can view his piece here.
Today's game also featured Darryl Bootland's first NHL point since 2003, and after the game we got to speak with the Toronto native. He didn't make excuses for the loss after the game, gave full credit to an outstanding opposing goalie (Kolzig), and didn't think that playing 3 games in 4 days (more like 3 1/2 days) had much effect on the team. He assured us that he will have absolutely NO problem getting up for the Rangers on Wednesday night, and we're hoping to see him scrap it up a bit against the hated Blueshirts.
As a reminder, we're also eagerly awaiting the return of University of Minnesota hockey on Friday (10/12) night, which means the return of fresh news on the play of Kyle Okposo!
Until then, thanks for reading.