"We worked our *** off." That was how Kyle Okposo succinctly explained the difference between the previous night's 5-0 drubbing at the hands of the New York Rangers and a 3-2 comeback win over Calgary on Thursday (3/25).
Tim Jackman, surprised that the always collected Okposo used profanity, interrupted a fun interview to chime in. "We killed [penalties]."
Ah, yes. The penalties. In another un-Okposo-like move, Kyle took three two minute penalties, including an unsportsmanlike conduct infraction. But as Jackman alluded to, the team was not harmed on the scoreboard by any of them, and afterward Kyle expressed regret that he hadn't handled each situation a bit better.
Kyle did come through with an assist, netting his 45th point of the season. That occurred on Matt Moulson's 27th goal of the year, which knotted the score at 2-2. Bruno Gervais blasted the game winner past Flames goalie Miikka Kiprusoff at 11:31 of the third period.
And that was all she wrote. For the Islanders the win didn't mean much in the standings as they still hold, albeit tenuously, 28th place overall in the league. A finish in that spot could mean a big-time player come June's entry draft. But there is no sign that any Islanders player is thinking about that, and even if they are it would never be admitted publicly.
As for the Flames, the loss was potentially crushing. They are currently fighting for their playoff lives in the 9th spot in the Western Conference, but now lose ground to idle Detroit, 4 points ahead. Calgary has 8 games left in their season to try to crash the playoff party.
On a happier note for southern Alberta hockey fans, Eric Nystrom, son of Islanders hockey legend Bob, scored his first goal on Long Island soil. The local media granted Eric the 2nd star of the game despite the outcome. Congratulations to Eric and the Nystrom family on this accomplishment.
The Islanders, meanwhile, are off to Columbus for a Saturday (3/27) night tilt. We at Okposo Net are off to Japan on Monday (3/29) morning, so we apologize for the coming lapse in coverage. We'll be back in time for the final game of the year on April 11th, but will probably be too tired to write anything coherent. See you in the off-season!