photo by zimbio
Tonight, our Islanders exploded for six goals as they defeated the Blue Jackets by a score of 6-3. Here are some of my notes from their Valentines Day showdown:
-When discussing this game, you have to start with the first line who dominated tonight. To start with, Josh Bailey comes out of nowhere and almost gets a first period hat-trick. Then, in the third period, the captain took over and showed why he is the best hockey player and arguably the top athlete in New York sports today. Meanwhile, while he didn't have any goals tonight, Anders Lee couldn't be held off the scoreboard. He assisted on four of the teams six goals tonight. Doing that nearly doubled his assist total for the season in just one game.
-Although there were many positives to come out of this game, one negative was the power play. After looking solid against Toronto on Thursday night, the power play was just dreadful tonight.
-While Jaroslav Halak didn't have his best game, he gave the team a chance to win which is all you can ask from your goalie.
-Good for Hamonic for standing up for himself tonight against the more experienced fighter in Scott Hartnell. Hartnell gave Hamonic cheap shots on two separate occasions so the fight shouldn't have come as a surprise. In fact, I was a little surprised Hartnell didn't get an extra penalty on the play since his punch to Hamonics face is what started the altercation.
-After looking decent at times in the last few games, the opposite was the case for Brian Strait tonight. This was seen most clearly at the end of the first period when he got burned badly by the Columbus forward en-route to their second and at the time game tying goal. Even with the victory tonight, I think we might see Calvin de Haan in the lineup for the Ranger game on Monday.
Although it was disappointing to blow yet another two goal lead, the teams overall effort tonight was very good. They generated tons of offense, played mostly good defense although they struggled at times in the third, and didn't let Columbus push them around either. This week, they took care of the teams they should take care of. However, next week the schedule gets a little tougher so the Islanders really need to make sure they bring their "A" game night in and night out.
Next Game: Monday vs the Rangers