Another liveblog from the Coliseum to see if the Isles can bounce back against Boston. Jeff Tambellini was brought up from Bridgeport to inject some life into a moribund offense. Tambellini has seven goals and 14 assists in 20 games with the Sound Tigers and will play tonight with Mike Comrie and Miro Satan.
Ted Nolan stated before the season that Tambellini wasn't the kind of player who is suited for toiling on the fourth line, and if he was to play with the big club he'd have to produce. Well, Jeff, welcome to the first line. And score some goals, will ya?
Fedotenko will skate with Vasicek and Guerin while Bergenheim plays with Sillinger and Hunter, with Park-Simon-Hilbert rounding out a forward set that needs to get on the board three times tonight. Is that too much to ask?
Also of note, Bruno Gervais is a healthy scratch tonight as the Isles go with the traditional six defensemen. Berard and Bergeron will both be out there tonight. Again, it's about goals.
If you're wondering why no post after the 4-0 loss to the Thrashers, I also ask - why? What's the point? That was ug-leeeee. Let's forget it ever happened.
Tambellini gets involved early with a big hit and has a couple of looks. Interesting to see Zdeno Chara not only wearing Larry Bird's number 33 for Boston on the Coliseum ice, but also wearing the captain's C. It got me thinking, how many former Islanders are currently captains in the NHL? That'll give me something to do between periods.
Comrie gets a golden opportunity with 5:09 left in the first on the doorstep with Tim Thomas down, but he can't lift it into the goal. One goal isn't going to do it tonight, fellas!
Isles on the power play, Jeremy Reich gets the gate for tripping. That's Reich as in "reach out and trip him" and not Reich as in "Third Reich." Thank goodness for him. One good chance on a shot from the slot but otherwise, that power play went by in a hurry.
DiPietro keeps it 1-0 with two good stops on Chuck Kobasew right in front in the final minute. End of one, Bruins up 1-0, Isles outshooting the B's 11-8.
Answer to our first period trivia question - two former Islanders are currently captains on their respective NHL teams - Chara and Olli Jokinen of the Florida Panthers. Those were the two guys I knew of off the top of my head, and that's all there is. I did look up every roster on NHL.com to double-check. That's the kind of effort you'll get from this blogger. It's the J.T. way.
By the way, as bad as the Isles have been on offense, has ANYONE lamented the absence of Alexei Yashin? Didn't think so.
My Blog Box neighbor Jim McGlynn and I talked a bit about the Isles' scoring woes between periods, and though the team has treaded water in the last 11 games, playing .500 it is a slippery slope and if they don't snap out of it, you get the sense it could all go downhill. The presence of DiPietro has prevented that so far, but how long can that last?
Isles on the power play again and the snakebitteness (Is that even a word? It is now) continues. Bergeron blasts a shot wide right (hit the net, please) and then Satan is absolutely STONED at the right post by a Thomas pad save off a rebound of a Berard shot from the point. DAMN! No goals.
Boston with a chance at the post but D.P. covers up. Hard to believe that a two-goal deficit would be such a big hill to climb. But it is. And it is sad.
It continues - Satan passes up to Vasicek in front to Fedotenko with the net open at the left post - WIDE! You get the feeling that when the Isles finally score this place is going to explode like it did when Tonelli fed Nystrom. Except with about 6,000 less people. You get the idea.
I've mentioned in the blog before that when the horn sounds here, the frequency of vibration makes my iBook freeze for a couple of seconds while it's blaring, and sometimes I think the next one is going to fry it for good. But if that's what it takes to get this team to score a lousy goal, I'm willing to sacrifice the laptop. I'll take one for the team.
The game has settled into a mode where, if I were watching at home on the DVR, I'd be watching it on the first fast-forward setting.
Isles kill a penalty with Hunter in the box, then Witt tries to wake up his mates by drilling Kobasew into the boards. It doesn't work. Bruins go up 2-0 moments later when Petteri Nokelainen steps in on a breakaway after a miscue by Sutton and beats DiPietro high on the stick side with under two minutes left in the second. Islanders, meet the two-goal mountain.
Isles get a power play chance with 47 seconds left in the period when Marco Sturm goes off. Bergeron breaks his blade on a shot from the point. Hunter fires wide from a low angle. End of two, 2-0 Boston, and based on recent history, you can beat the traffic and not miss a comeback. I hope I'm wrong.
Keeping you informed: The difference between nachos grande and the nachos with cheese: salsa, sour cream and jalapenos. That's a dollar well-spent.
Start of the third, Isles with 1:13 left on the power play. Twenty minutes of desperation to follow. Nothing doing on those 73 seconds, and it's come to this - fans are chanting "Score-a-goal." You forgot to say please, folks.
Isles kill a penalty, then Glen Metropolit (no 'an') gets two for hooking. Satan gets a shot blocked, Bruins clear, then clear again with 40 ticks left on the advantage. Thomas stops Fedotenko, Sutton's shot is blocked - PP ends and the booing begins.
Satan gets hauled down on a break by Andrew Alberts - no penalty shot called. You hate to say 'this is it,' with 11:18 left, but... I think it is. HUGE power play here.
Fedotenko rebound deflected over the net by Thomas, then Sillinger is stopped from the slot with 12 seconds left in the advantage. More booing. The power play continues to be utterly lifeless.
Of course, moments later Sillinger is called for slashing as the Bruins push into the Islanders zone. If two goals is a mountain, what's three? Everest? A black hole? The Mariana Trench?
Hilbert gets called for delay of game for knocking the puck into the crowd, and now the Isles are down two men. Doesn't there have to be a shred of intent there? He flailed at the puck and got lucky to connect - or unlucky, to be exact. Horrible.
Isles kill the disadvantages but time is short, less than five to play.
Frustration: Hunter is called for roughing, well behind the play with 3:34 left. Eight seconds later, Kobasew converts and it's 3-0. Goodnight, everybody! Drive home safely.
Hang on... Chris Campoli scores from the point through a screen with 1:51 remaining, a POWER PLAY goal that finds the top left corner. That makes it 3-1 and snaps the scoreless streak at 140 minutes and 12 seconds.
Rangers blanked by Carolina, by the way, 4-0. Hey, it's something.
Empty net, Hunter stopped and Comrie has it ON HIS STICK in front, net open, can't get a handle on it. Eighteen seconds left. And so it goes. Twelve games now without scoring more than two goals in any game, and the Isles are 5-6 with an overtime loss in that span.
Boston's win is its first at the Coliseum in 11 games, since December, 2001. Congrats.
POSTGAME INTERVIEW: TED NOLAN
What's wrong with the offense? A lot. It just comes down to being more hungry. We're OK, but OK doesn't cut it. We did have our chances but they're coming when the goaltender is seeing the puck.
Nothing seemed to work today but there's always tomorrow. We just have to keep working at it. Just have to find a way and stick together.
We had some jump [early] but didn't capitalize.
ON SUTTON'S MISCUE THAT LED TO BOSTON'S SECOND GOAL: Everything becomes more magnified. Every time you lose, those things happen.
ON THE UPCOMING ROAD TRIP: Maybe the road is a good thing for us to have some meals together and be together. We can't let frustration get the better of us. It's a long year and a lot of teams go through spurts like this.
ON TAMBELLINI: He added some speed to us. He gave us some grit along the boards. He did what we asked him to do.
(Nolan added that Gervais' scratch was partly being the odd man out and partly because he is banged up, but added that he will be back in the lineup.)
ON BERGENHEIM GETTING EXTRA TIME: His effort is always there. What he gives us is what we are looking for.