Not to look a gift horse in the mouth, but this was the least impressive 5-2 win I’ve ever seen.
First the good. Lundqvist was spectacular, especially in the first period. Without him we go down 2-0 and lose this game. The team seemed to be on the brink of giving up when he kicked out his right pad (“flipper” as the Islanders anouncers’ loved to call it) and rescued the team. The power play was clutch. Not exactly pinpoint passing and set plays, but it scored 3 times. We were a perfect 7-7 on the PK. Another good game on faceoffs — 29 to 18. Callahan had his first 4 point game of his career (2G, 2A). Drury scored for the first time in 20 games! And other players showed sparks with increased playing time, most notably Lisin and Anisimov. Keep playing them Torts. And I loved the benching of Redden. Apparently there was a massive shouting match before in the morning when Wade was informed. Got to be hard for a big contract, free agent signing veteran to take. But it had to be done.
Now the bad. Through the first half of the game we were thoroughly dominated at even strength. Over the last half of the game it was a draw, at best. We took way too many penalties (even if some of them were of the touchy/accidental variety). On the second goal, Del Zotto let Sutton skate around the net and center it (the same thing from last game that got Redden benched). Sanguinetti had some iffy moments (though that’s to be expected, and part of the growing process; same for Del Zotto — which is why Redden should sit in their favor). Brashear continues to be a pointless signing. But perhaps most of all, it was the freaking Islanders!!! We are supposed to beat them handily. I should not have to write a blog exclaiming delight (surprise?) at splitting a home-and-home. It’s the fishsticks for christ sake.
All in all though, two points is two points. And this two points was much needed and certainly a small step in the right direction. I just don’t want to get too excited with this win, due both to the nature of it and since it’s just one win. Hopefully Torts will notice the good in this game and ride THREE lines (if not 4, with Kotalik in for Brashear) and let the young guys grow.
Random Other Note: As noted in this blog MANY times, Lundqvist should under no circumstances, including potential doom of the universe, ever play the puck more than 3 feet from his crease. I did not know whether to laugh, vomit, or cringe at his tumble trying to clear the puck. The only thing worse was watching Nate Thompson — someone who has not scored in 59 games — miss an empty net.