People are wondering where the posts have been lately, and while I'd love to say I was scouting in Saskatoon or covering the World Juniors in the Czech Republic, the truth is I'm still recovering from the holidays -- so some quick thoughts before the Isles take on Edmonton tonight.
Great to see that common sense prevailed in "PadGate." It was clear from the outset that DiPietro and the Islanders weren't trying to gain any advantage or pull a fast one on anybody. The snow-white pads all but screamed "ATTENTION: THIS IS NEW EQUIPMENT" and when asked, D.P, simply switched to the old pads. Problem solved, crisis averted, angry blog posts avoided.
Two OT losses in a row were very different. The Isles probably should have won the game outright against the Panthers with a strong effort but could have easily lost the game against Colorado Saturday. So you split the difference, get two points anyway and move on.
Horton's first goal for Florida was one D.P. should have had (maybe if he'd had those new pads on, he would have) and then Booth's goal came after multiple deflections, so that was fluky. DiPietro flat-out saved the Isles against the Avalanche, making 38 saves. The only Colorado goal in regulation was - maddeningly - another deflection that of course came with 31 seconds left in the second.
Bergeron's play has been a welcome sight, and production from the defense may have been just what the doctor ordered to cure the scoring drought. Blake Comeau has also looked good, as has Mike Comrie. By the way, Cosmo cover girl Hillary Duff has a "secret reason" why she's so happy. Could it be number 89? Head to your local checkout counter and find out!
I'm also seriously considering a trip to Bridgeport to see Kyle Okposo make his debut for the Sound Tigers, and you know something - we all should. He had a solid tournament at the World Juniors and by all accounts could be a mainstay on the right wing. Why not get a sneak preview?
One last thing - I have to agree with Chris Botta in his Point Blank blog about the 'HEY!' chant after goals. I'm sure it's because I'm a father of a young Islanders fan who discourages the use of words like SUCK, but New Yorkers and Long Islanders in general get a bad rap, and I know there is a perception of Islanders fans as being somewhat crass, even though the majority of us have class.
The chant appeals to the lowest common denominator, and while it may get the building fired up, there are other ways to do that. And while I love it when the barn gets loud, can we get a little more creative?