Due to a scheduling quirk, Sunday featured an afternoon matchup between the AHL affiliates of the Islanders and Ottawa followed by an evening contest between the parent clubs.
As it turned out, the theme of the day wound up being "fatigue."
In Bridgeport, a listless Sound Tigers team sleepwalked through sixty minutes of uninspired hockey against the Binghamton Senators, falling by a score of 3-1. The lone bright spot of the day was recent acquisition Matt Keith's first goal as a Sound Tiger. Kyle Okposo was held off of the scoresheet for the first time in his professional career, as his time and space on the ice was limited. Bridgeport coach Jack Capuano praised his team's defensive effort and did not use the "3 games in 3 nights" excuse, claiming that Binghamton gave a better effort while enduring the same circumstances.
Clearly there seemed to be some letdown from the stellar performance exhibited by his squad on Saturday night, but the coach wasn't buying it. He summed up the game with a simple "if you don't score, you don't win" mantra. Fair enough, coach.
Speaking of letdowns, after Ottawa's Saturday night heavyweight tilt with Detroit the Isles were hoping for some Senator fatigue, and that's exactly what they got. A tired Ottawa team committed 10 penalties on their home ice and managed only a single goal. Meanwhile, Marc-Andre Bergeron had two power play goals and Mike Comrie shined with a goal of his own and an assist. Just a few days ago Okposo Net was hoping the Isles could earn a point in Ottawa; well, they took both points in the 3-1 win. The Isles finished the road trip with 6 points of a possible 10 after a bleak beginning. The team will get some well-deserved rest as they fly home and ready themselves for the Canadiens on Tuesday.
While we're on the topic of rest, blogmeister (and Islanders Media Relations Coordinator in his spare time) Corey Witt will finally get some at home. He has been on the trip with the Isles for the last 10 days. You can read about his road adventures here. It's been fun to follow, and we thank him for his insight and his breaking news, but we really want the details. Next time, let us hear about Trent Hunter's Alberta beef jerky or about the crazy Slovakian hijinks pulled by Vasicek and Satan in the hotels. That's what makes following a team fun...getting a glimpse of your heroes when they're just being regular guys.
Finally, a few things to tidy up. Praise must be delivered to Dr. Hook, the brains behind yesterday's 'Okposolypse Now' title and many other clever things on this site.
Also, we want to see Jeff Tambellini get a real shot to stick in the NHL. We know that Ted Nolan and company always do what's best for the team, but calling him up just to send him back down? Not cool!
Anyway, whether it's in B'port or the Island, we're with ya Tamby...