Finally, another liveblog from the Coliseum as the Isles take on the Canadiens, fresh off a successful road trip and a big win over the Senators.
It's pregame and you know what that means... SHOUT OUTS! A big howdy to my friends and Squids softball teammates Tom and Marty Stock in Section 218 (Mike Downey couldn't make it - home sick; get well, buddy). We Squids didn't have a great season but we had a hell of a lot of fun. Now THAT would have been an interesting blog.
I'd like to tell you more about the matchup but frankly, I'm freezing. Hands are like ice. And I'm the only one in the blog box right now, and it feels a little weird.
First of five games in 8 days for the Isles, all against contending teams. So it's an important stretch as the team heads into the All-Star break.
Is it too much to ask to respect the nationals anthems while they are being sung and refrain from being loud an obnoxious? I didn't even post during the anthems. Just putting it out there.
Dee Karl is here - it's just the two of us, so far.
Brendan Witt still out with the ankle injury, still listed as day-to-day. We'll miss the 14 blocked shots he usually racks up. Freddy Meyer's been playing well, though, and on cue, a nice steal at the Isles blue line. Then Satan with a chance blockered by Huet.
Campoli whistled for a questionable foul at the 12:45 mark. Tripping? Welcome to the NHL. Montreal with a shot in close - wide left, then Park carries in on a shorthanded break, fires wide. Good penalty kill.
1-0 Montreal. Tomas Plekanec with a blistering shot from the top of the circle, just under the crossbar, pouncing on the loose puck for the unassisted tally. Good chance converted by the Canadiens, who are in fifth place in the East entering tonight's game.
Witt, by the way, sixth in the NHL in blocked shots with 109, 18th with 103 hits. Thank you, Islanders media guide!
Nice play by DiPietro keeping his pads at the post as Koivu tries to stuff it short side. Another good opportunity for Montreal, which has had the advantage thus far. Another chance by Higgins turned aside by DP.
A bad play by the Isles - miscommunication allows Michael Ryder to grab the puck behind the net and set up a shot from the slot. Meanwhile, the Isles have ONE SHOT ON GOAL with a minute left in the first. Yikes. Montreal outshoots them 9-1, up 1-0 after one.
Feels like a hangover after the impressive road trip. We'll see if Ted wakes the team up in the dressing room. The crowd could use a wake-up call, too.
Just walked the entire concourse looking for the nacho stand - nada. Also no sushi bar if that's how you roll. THAT'S what we're missing - nachos and sushi and the Isles would be winning this game.
Also saw a few Canadiens fans wearing their Montreal sweaters - but almost none of them had a number on them. C'mon, people, you're Canadiens fans - plenty of history - can SOMEONE rock a NILAN 30 or a ROBINSON 19 or a DRYDEN 29? Finally, I saw a girl with a LAFLEUR 10. You come to cheer on your team in someone else's house, you gotta represent.
Meanwhile, Isles on the power play but it's the Canadiens who score, 2-0 Montreal. Plekanec again, with an assist from Alex Kovalev on a breakaway after a big save by Huet. Isles seem a step behind on the ice and the crowd is getting quieter by the second. This is where LOUDVILLE needs to step it up - try and bring the crowd back into it and spark the team -- not yell nonsense during the anthems.
Isles starting to pick it up -- Satan leading a 2-on-1, looks to pass then fires a shot off the post, moments later Vasicek wrists one wide left. Later, Hilbert in front to Jackman, stopped. Then Comrie on a break, cuts right to left but Huet slides across to make the save.
Campoli with a nice breakup of a potential 2-on-1 -- a goal there would have been a back-breaker.
Sillinger and Fedotenko with a chance on the doorstep, nothing doing. Ten shots on goal, Isles down 2-0 after two. Three goals in the third period? It COULD happen.
Three minutes in and Comeau makes a nice feed to Jackman, who can't pull the trigger. Isles need a quick goal here to turn things around.
Instead, Comrie gets 2 for cross-checking - dumb play. Then Campoli gets his stick slashed out of his hands - no call. Isles kill it, though.
Park gets one back, putting in a rebound off a shot from the right boards by Guerin with 9:04 remaining in the third - Montreal up 2-1. FINALLY, someone is in front of the net, and sure enough, the Islanders score. THAT's how you get it done. And now the crowd gets back into it.
Hunter nice pass to the point for Bergeron, deflects high. Less than four minutes left - crunch time now.
Final minute, Isles with a scramble in front, then the puck back out to Campoli - he doesn't shoot - tries to pass to the left boards and it's picked off - Montreal scores with the empty net. Game over, big disappointment. Off to the post mortem.
POSTGAME COMMENTS: TED NOLAN
On the slow start: That's what they kept telling us all day, but we tried to do our best to compensate with short shifts.
We didn't play as bad as I thought we would, but we just couldn't get back into it.
On the shorthanded goal: Just one of those things ... a nag-up play where the defense pinched in too prematurely. It was a good play [by Montreal] and a good goal.
If we win two or three and then lose one, I'll be happy with that.
Coming off two hard-fought games, we didn't have our legs early but we rebounded well in teh second and third periods.
To win hockey games, you have to play 60 minutes and we played 40.