The Islanders gave a full sixty minute effort on Saturday (10/29) night against San Jose, according to Coach Jack Capuano. They generated many good chances and matched the effort of one of the best teams in hockey.
Unfortunately, it was a phantom penalty call that doomed New York in the overtime period, causing them to potentially miss out on what would have been a hard-earned second point.
Rick DiPietro made his first start of the season, seeing his first "real" action (wink, wink) of the year and playing well. Though he allowed a power play goal just 17 seconds into the contest, he was solid all night, making 27 saves and cutting down on the bad habits that have plagued him in the past.
It was a good night for John Tavares and Michael Grabner too, both of whom scored. For Tavares, it was his 7th time lighting the lamp this season, while it was number three for Grabner.
Kyle, still goalless for the season, found Grabner with a pretty feed that the Austrian slipped right past San Jose netminder Thomas Greiss. That goal gave the Islanders a temporary 2-1 lead midway through the game. It didn't last, though, as an efficient San Jose side struck back less than two minutes later.
Kyle sits at three points, as you can see on the right-hand side of this page. He played 15:30, and to be fair, took a really bad and unnecessary elbowing penalty near the end of regulation time. It didn't cost his team the game, luckily.
The thing that did cost the game was a terrible delay of game call by the referees on Travis Hamonic that seemingly everyone in the building saw clearly. Everyone, that is, except the four men on the ice that really mattered. Hamonic was trying to get a pass toward John Tavares when the puck careened out of bounds.
Assistant Doug Weight nearly went berserk on the bench when the call was made, to no avail. He had good reason to be upset, as subsequent replays showed the puck hitting the glass on the way out of play.
Given a power play, it took Brent Burns only 38 seconds to sink the deflated Islanders. A very good all around effort by the home team was ruined.
The call was the topic of discussion in the postgame debriefing session, though the players were careful to avoid blaming the referees directly for the loss.
Hamonic explained how the events unfolded. "I chipped the puck off the glass. Obviously the call was what the call was. I don't think there's much else to say about that."
His teammate John Tavares had similar thoughts, saying, "It's a tough call at the end. You know, it happens...we've just got to put it behind us...tough break."
Perhaps the coach had the most fitting last words on the entire mess, when asked if he received an explanation from the officials. "They just didn't see it."
Despite the debacle, Thursday (11/3) will be your next chance to see the Islanders as they take on the Winnipeg Jets at Nassau Coliseum. It will be nice to see the Jets play their first game in New York after a long hiatus. I'm looking forward to that one, and hopefully the Isles breaking their five game losing streak that they are currently on.
News and Notes:
- Prior to the game, the Islanders honored the 1992-1993 team. They remain, somewhat sadly, the last Islanders team to advance past the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. It was thrilling to see players like Pierre Turgeon, Darius Kasparaitis, and Patrick Flatley return to the Coliseum ice.
- 11,742 fans attended the game despite the presence of an unusually timed winter storm hitting the area.
- The Isles were 2-for-4 on the power play, improving to a cool 21.2% success rate on the season (7-for-33).