I'm going to keep this one short because after last night's gut-wrenching 4-3 overtime loss in Colorado, I'm completely deflated. So here we go...
Josh Bailey (!) opened the scoring by netting his first goal of the season. One of the glaring underachievers so far this season (yes, Kyle obviously belongs in that category), Bailey ended his drought under five minutes into the contest.
Brian Rolston doubled the Islanders' lead less than a minute into the second period. P.A. Parenteau and Neilsen assisted the effort.
Michael Grabner looked like the Grabner of last season, scoring a beautiful goal (his 5th of the season) fed by Matt Moulson and having two other breakaway chances in which he did not score. (Who could have known how big those missed opportunities would be later in the game?)
Kyle Okposo gets partial credit in this column, as does starting goaltender Al Montoya. Kyle was strong on the puck during this game and chased down a few loose ones. One of his passes sprung Grabner on an aforementioned breakaway chance.
Montoya was good; very good in fact. For half or 2/3 of the game. There's the rub.
Montoya was run over several times during the game. Did it take a toll on him? Perhaps. Or maybe the thin air exhausted him. Or perhaps, and most likely, his defense allowed him to see 51 shots on the night, easily a season high for the team.
The Islanders blew a 3-0 lead and all of the good momentum they had built. Yes, just frittered it away during the final 20 minutes. Completely inexcusable, especially in a game in which they were at times (literally) running circles around the competition.
Also frittered away was a point that was desperately needed in the standings. Normally I'm a "glass half-full" kind of guy. Not on this one.
Kyle's goalless drought now stands at 13 games this season. His season line is 0-3-3 so far. Ugly indeed.
Moving on, and sadly we must again discuss the officiating.
I really don't believe in blaming officials for a team's woes. However, the Islanders have been on the wrong end of some terrible calls this season.
Whether it was phantom tripping calls, no-calls, or very minor infractions that were whistled, the Isles had it all go against them in this game. Some of Colorado's power plays should never have even taken place. Oh well. Some among you will say that the Islanders should have overcome those bad calls, and maybe you're right, but on this night the poor officiating was egregious.
To add insult to injury, a rumor circulated around Twitter after the game that goalie Evgeni Nabokov had been traded to Columbus for defenseman Fedor Tyutin.
The rumor was, of course, unfounded.
If a trade is made (and believe me, the Isles need to shed a goalie in the worst way), you'll find out right here. The Islanders send me (and my fellow bloggers) press releases, you know.
The Isles get a chance to redeem themselves on Sunday night in Vancouver at 9 PM.