After a temporary detour on Monday, the Islanders resumed their steady march toward John Tavares or Victor Hedman with a pair of midweek losses. The good feelings and confidence that had been built up by Monday's stirring shootout win over Pittsburgh were discarded in short order.
First it was a 3-1 misfire on Wednesday (2/18) at the hands of the Rangers; a game in which they outplayed their rivals for stretches yet managed to net only one goal. Tied at 1-1 in the second period, Yann Danis flubbed a Scott Gomez power play shot. The puck trickled behind Danis and crossed the red line to swing the momentum firmly into the Rangers' corner. A late empty netter gave the Blueshirts the victory they desperately craved; for the Isles it was just another loss in a season full of them.
The Isles followed that up the next night with a 6-2 stinker at home against Carolina. It was only close early, when a Mark Streit (who else?) power play goal drew the Isles even at one goal apiece. A barrage of goals overwhelmed Joey MacDonald; it was 5-1 before long, and a lot of the fans headed towards the exits long before the full 60 minutes had been played. Of note, however, was coach Scott Gordon's praise of hard-working Kyle, who seemed to be one of the few Islanders prepared to play on consecutive nights.
This is getting to be a theme, and we take a bit of pride in knowing that the namesake of this blog comes ready to play EVERY SINGLE NIGHT. We hope others follow his example. Enough lecturing, though.
Prior to the game, it was learned that there has been a small budge on the progress of the Lighthouse project, the $4 billion proposed development of shops, retail space, condominiums, a hotel, and oh yeah, a new Coliseum for the team. There is going to be a public meeting regarding the project at Hempstead Town Hall. The Islanders are urging those interested to show up at said meeting on Tuesday, February 24th at 10:30 AM.
While this author has never taken a position for or against said project, I urge you to attend, ask questions, gather information, speak to willing officials, and most importantly, think for yourself. If you are a resident of Hempstead or Nassau County, you, more than anyone else, will be affected by this project. It's important to know as much as you can about it and form your own opinions.
For those unsure of where Hempstead Town Hall is, the address is 1 Washington Street, just a few minutes away from the Coliseum. We've linked to a Google Map marking the loaction here.
Lastly, tonight again showed us what a positive force sports can be for breaking down barriers. In the locker room after the game, we noticed some gentlemen on hand who were covering Charles Wang's Lighthouse International tournament. It brings kids together from China, Finland, Japan, and Long Island in a friendly and competitive manner. We know from first-hand experience that these types of interactions foster goodwill and often lead to lifelong friendships for kids at that age. It also provided yours truly with a chance to try out some very, very, very basic Japanese phrases with the locker room visitors. While ice hockey is still considered a minor sport in Japan, it is popular on the northernmost island of Hokkaido, and we hope its popularity grows throughout that island nation.
What we do know is that whether it's baseball, soccer, ice hockey, or any other athletic event, everybody 'speaks' sports, and it's a great way to make new friends and have a good time doing it.