The "Third" Story 11-8-08

7th Woman's picture

"I've seen this movie before. The Islanders lose."
That's what Big Angry Man said to me as we were well into the third and the Islanders had ZERO shots on goal for the period. The stats were actually 18 - 0 before Tambellini finally broke the drought at 17:46 of the 3rd.

Uggghh!!! As I opted to stay home with my husband to watch this game, and since I don't have a valid Internet connection in the house right now, I watched the game and took notes. Ten pages of them to be exact. It certainly is different watching a game on my big screen with B.A.M. and being able to hear Bill Jaffe's commentary. I actually paid attention and noticed all sorts of things I probably would have otherwise missed.

Let's start with MSG Plus first. What the heck is the problem with the volume on the HD channels? What is it? Mime? But oddly the commercials are blasting when they're on. And BTW, this no pre-game show for the Islanders while the Rangers and Devils have one is sheer and utter BS. If the evil Dolan empire wants to say there is no interest in our pre-game show then prove to me there is interest in the Rangers telecast.

Also, there is now some sort of High School Sports portion during the first intermission. Now, while I'm all for high school sports information, why is it airing during my hockey game? MSG already cut out my pre-game, they jump right into their Hockey Night Live thing as soon as the game is over, and now they added High School Sports info too? Are you begging me to go to Satellite service? Are you? And PS, adding Butch Goring to your round table after game discussions does not make this a post Islander game broadcast. (Although I will say I do enjoy watching the guy who looks like Bon Jovi. But then again, anything sitting next to Ken Daneko would be handsome.)

Okay, enough bitching about MSG. The good things about the broadcast were Stan Fischler's subway token tie and the fact that CJ Papa has found his broadcast comfort zone, just as I knew he would.

BTW, the wine at my house is much better than that at the Coliseum (cheaper too) and the Chicken Parm Pizza on the second level is to die for! But I digress.

This was undoubtedly Andy Sutton's best game. He was a pleasure to watch all evening. I did notice one little thing early in the first period that I couldn't get an answer on because it seems no one else saw it. But I watched a linesman grab Sutton's jersey as he was skating past him. I wish I was in the Blog Box with IslesOfficial Doug to ask him what that was all about. There was no call, no whistle and play didn't stop, but he was slowed up a little by that move.

Also, I noticed Crosby's stick sweep up over Sutton's head and knock his helmet forward, again no call. If you can get a stick up to big Andy's head, shouldn't that be a call? Again, where's Doug when I need him?

It's painfully obvious that B.A.M. hasn't been watching many games this season yet as he turned to me a few times asking who was wearing what number. "Who's number eleven?"

"Hilbert." I said wondering if he was just testing me, but he wasn't. I'm scared. He remembered him when he scored that back-hander while in the paint to make it 3 - 1.

Congratulations to Tim Jackman on his first goal of the season and third NHL goal of his career. He was a big part of this game tonight. Okay, the pleasant parts that is.

Doug Weight was proving that he's definitely not too old for this league and Jon Sim seemed invisible. Did he actually play tonight? The stat sheets says he played 12:26, but I didn't hear his name called ONCE by Billy or Howie. He was invisible.

No disrespect to our star goalie, but I am enjoying watching Joey MacDonald thrive. There are no antics in the crease, no theatrics and no wandering. Just saves. I just wish the rest of the team wouldn't let him become one big target every time they get to the third period. Is this what Joey actually signed up for? I think not.

The penalties were another story to the game. Some of them seemed marginal and infuriated Scott Gordon behind the bench.

For two minutes, let's put aside the fact that the team seems to fall asleep in the third period until there is under a minute left. I'd like to just mention that it seems the ice conditions in the Coliseum play a big part in these games. The puck bounces all over the place and won't settle down. I watched three players hit the ice without any help from the opposition and with only 35 seconds of the third left Sabourin went down behind his own net.

I've been in that building during the day when there are very few people in there; I've been in there when it's packed to the rafters. It's too damn WARM. When I can sit comfortably in a long sleeve shirt and never once look for my fleece, there's a problem. Ice conditions are a specific science. People spend years perfecting methods for optimum conditions. The Coliseum doesn't seem to have the concern other arenas have for this important part of the game. More should be done to improve ice conditions at the Coliseum which will not only improve the game but also protect those who play it.

I'm surprised that Sean Bergenheim didn't score a goal tonight since I was not personally in attendance. I did panic just a little when he absorbed impact with Hal Gill and went back on the bench in considerable pain. I'll admit, my heart raced a little. We seriously can't afford more injuries.

Sidney Crosby didn't seem like his usual amazing self this evening, and Okposo seems to be trying to do too much. Nielsen and Tambellini played their hearts out but this wasn't the outcome they were working for.

Everyone seems to be complaining about Gordon's shoot-out choices, but let's also remember that our old Mr. Shoot-Out didn't score on MacDonald. But yes, perhaps next time they wander into the shoot out forum, let the young guns have a go and leave the old work horses watching from the bench.

There seems to be a three goal, third period curse going on here. Bring in an exorcist and a Starbucks concession in the locker room. Some thing has gotta give or some one's head is going to explode soon. And it won't be pretty when it does.

Nite all.