The Islanders, mired in last place in the NHL with 56 points on the season, took on one of the NHL's best teams (and defending champions), the Detroit Red Wings, on Friday (3/27). A recipe for a sure Islanders loss, right?
Wrong. The Isles blanked Detroit 2-0 on their ice. Joey MacDonald practically stood on his head for 60 minutes and got some help from the goalposts, but he emerged with his first NHL shutout. The Isles made a shorthanded goal from Frans Nielsen (assisted by KO!) and a Josh Bailey goal count, and held the league's best power play unit in check. The Islanders registered 14 blocked shots to aid Joey's 42 save effort.
While the performance didn't help the "Drive for Tavares/Hedman" that everyone likes to talk about (ourselves included), it will bring a certain pride to this young Islanders team. They can pat themselves on the back for doing what no NHL team has done to the Red Wings since 2007, namely shutting them out in their own rink.
Joey Mac can also take pride in the fact that he's the first Islander goaltender since Billy Smith in 1981 to blank the Wings. Wow!
The Islanders can and should be celebrating this win for a while. Or at least until Saturday night at 7PM, when they welcome in the powerful Philadelphia Flyers.