Recap 9:55 pm:
Jack was "...proud of the effort. We had a lot of young kids on the blue line and I'm proud of their effort." Not easy playing against the Devils and Jack was trying for "nuetral zone forcheck." Pretty funny but honest when he said Lemaire's team "they clog it up pretty good." Was that a nicer way of saying "Trap, Trap, Trap."?
Tonight Frans Nielsen tied Bobby Bourn's record for short handed goals (and then added an even strength one for good measure). Capuano was not surprised.
"Nielsen did it in Bridgeport. He set the record there for short handed goals. He reads the play well. As a penalty killer you have to have pretty good hockey sense; he does. He deserves it."
Regarding Rick's play "He made some good saves. I don't judge too many things until I look at the tape. The first goal with Kovalchuk in the slot, he didnt have a chance." Well, Rick did stop him on his first change. "I was inpressed with our young kids tonight." Oddly I didn't recognice Katic. I actually pointed at the TV and asked "Who is that?" Helps if I read the game notes before the game, right?
Regarding tomorrow night's tilt against the Rangers, Jack said "I like that team when we've played a lot of games consecutively. We go back tomorrow, it will be sold-out and we'll see what we can do."
The Devils had gone 177 minutes before they got a goal in a game, and it came from Kovalchuk. At his paycheck, it had better have been from him. Then Josefson and Andy Green sealed the deal.
Jack Hillen had 23:40 of ice time, the most of the defense core. Considering who Jack had, that's no surprise.
The name not mentioned tonight was -- Trevor Gillies who made his return after his suspension. He saw 5:15 of ice time and never saw the box. BONUS! That left Konopka and Martin to sit in there for fighting majors instead.
Rob Carlin just about jinxed Konopka by using him in the 10 Question Challenge (that Matt Moulson won over Kyle Okposo). Zenon is the only other player besides Moulson who has played in every game this season for the Isles. When he went down awkwardly at the boards and twisted his knee, it looked like the end. But Konopka (the warrior as Butchie called him) skated it off and went back out after a little rest.
Devils having an easy go of it with the Isles tonight. 2 - 0 in the second.
Didn't I say Kovalchuk would be helping Ricky shake off the rust. He made a save on him then gave one up.
Two goals, two fights, two periods. And the Isles on the PK with a little more than 8 minutes left in the second.
Some good saves by RDP and two good PK efforts keeping the Devils from scoring on the man advantage. Thank you Scotty Allen.
Good play in the third. Bad call by the refs on Katic who got hit with a 4 minute penalty when it was actually a puck that hit the Devils player. Devils had no shots on goal during the power play and gave up a short handed goal to Frans Nielsen. Not a good effort on their part or you could say an amazing effort on the Isles part.
Nielsen also tied the game at two by poking the puke under Broduer when there was a crowd in his crease. But Andy Green made it 3 - 2 and that's where it stayed.
I decided to text the powers that be to see if Trevor Gillies would be making his return to the ice tonight or not. At 3:58 pm I was told it would be announced soon. $5 says it will be announced by someone other than -- ME. Bitter? Me? Nah.
5:12 pm: yep! and there it is. According to Katie Strang Trevor Gillies "may" return to the line-up tonight.
Well, Jack is true to his word. RDP in net tonight against the Devils. His favorite place to be -- looking down the ice at Marty Brodeur!
: Oh busy day here in Islanders Country. Just recieved noticed that Bridgeport will get a new defenseman on an ATO.
The New York Islanders announced today that defenseman Matt Donovan has agreed to terms on an entry-level contract. Donovan will report to the Islanders’ American Hockey League affiliate, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, to play out the remainder of the 2010-11 season on an Amateur Tryout Contract (ATO). His entry-level contract will commence in the upcoming 2011-12 season.
Donovan, 20, led all University of Denver defensemen in scoring this season with a career-best 32 points (nine goals, 23 assists) as a sophomore. The Edmond, OK, native completed his two-year NCAA career with 53 points (16 goals, 37 assists) in 78 games.
Welcome Matt Donovan. Here's your new SoundTigers jersey.
Thanks to Katie Strang of Newsday, we now know that Zach Parise will NOT be playing tonight against the Islanders. She said Coach Lemaire said he asked Zach about it and told him he wasn't ready. However, Lemaire is confident he will return before the season ends.
Uh, tick-tock Zach. You don't have much time.
Marty Brodeur will be the starting goalie for the Devils tonight which would make the presence of one Rick DiPietro in the opposing net even more important. What say you JACK?
Okay, let's get this started early.
Tonight as the season winds down and the Islanders injuries continue to pile up, we have the NY Islanders facing the NJ Devils in Newark.
Could this be the coming home party for Devils' superstar Zach Parise? And the hockey world would rejoice.
We now know that Doug Weight will not lace 'em up again this season, and we've also lost Milan Jurcina to a hip flexor and Bruno Gervais is sitting out as well. So this is another game of "Hello, Bridgeport? We need bodies."
Basically we are left with the only real question being Rick or Al. Now, if Jack Capuano is true to his word and does not care about Ricky's wins and losses or save percentage and just wants him to shake the rust off... Then I would expect to see Rick in net tonight.
Let's see if Kovalchuk can blast the rust off him. The Devils were a late season Cinderella story in the press while the Islanders were close on their tails and didn't get as much love. But then again, we don't have Lemaire behind the Isles bench. While everyone was throwing roses at Lemaire's feet for turning the Devils' season around, Jack Capuano quietly made his team better.
Will wait to hear the morning report from the Rock as soon as it hits Twitter, you'll know.