For the New York Islanders, home hasn't been very sweet, but somebody has been adding some sugar. The Isles, in the midst of a seven game home stand, have points in their last three games, all of which have been on home ice. Even better, they have fought through some adversity to earn these points.
The decision remains optional, but recent history suggests that the use of visors on hockey helmets should be mandatory.
Simply put, the eyes are the most important part of a hockey player, and they must be protected.
Last night in a game between the Philadelphia Flyers and the New York Rangers, a Kimmo Timonen slap shot deflected off of a Flyer stick and straight up into the face of Rangers defenseman Marc Staal. Staal was left in a pool of his own blood on the ice, holding his right eye.
Staal left the game immediately after being hit directly in the eye, and is out indefinitely. According to a tweet by Nick Kypreos, the injury is not believed to be career-threatening.
(Pictured: A trainer tends to Rangers defenseman Marc Staal after getting hit in the right eye by a puck Tuesday night. AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
The stage was set for an emotional carry over into Saturday morning regardless of the outcome of Friday night's Islanders/Rangers game; a win for the Isles against their biggest rival and top team in the Eastern Conference would keep their playoff hopes alive, but a loss to their number one foe would have been a crushing blow to their confidence and chances.
Fortunately, the orange and blue would come on top with a 4-3 shootout victory with Matt Moulson netting the finally tally in the fourth round.
Tensions were high at the start of the game and Matt Martin decided to ease things up a bit by fighting Stu Bickel just over two minutes into the game. Both got their licks in before Martin swung and missed, falling to the ice to end the fight early. A fair draw would set the tone for how evenly the game would be played.
The Islanders are heading into the Big Apple to face their archrivals, the New York Rangers. Coming off back-to-back shootout wins (courtesy of Frans Neilsen and his patented forehand-backhand-top shelf move), the young Isles team is carrying a bit of momentum into the World’s Greatest Arena. They are playing with more confidence and finding ways to win hockey games.
This is a good thing. Because they will need every ounce of momentum, confidence, skill, (and maybe even a little luck) to leave Madison Square Garden with 2 points against the Rangers in tonight’s contest.
The Rangers (with 3 games in hand) are currently tied for 2nd in the Atlantic Division with the Pittsburgh Penguins, as they each have managed 42 points so far this season.
Preview: The New York Islanders return home to Nassau Coliseum to take on their all-time rival, the New York Rangers.
The Islanders are coming off a western road trip which saw them give up a 3 goal lead in an overtime loss to the Avalanche, and a clinic put on by the Canucks in a loss to Vancouver. The Islanders have played better hockey since changing up their offensive lines a few games ago, putting up more scoring chances more consistently. However, they haven’t been able to translate the better play into wins. A win tonight against the Rangers would mean even more than usual, as it would end a slide of losing efforts.
All I can say is wow! Yeah, it's Halloween weekend but what the hell is up with the Rangers? First, they drop a game to Ottawa in which they led 4 - 1 with roughly 12 minutes left. Ottawa tallied three straight before downing the Rangers in the shootout. Not a good start to the weekend there.
Next we had news of all the roster shuffling. With Tim Erixon struggling some and only seeing seven-plus minutes of ice-time Saturday, the best thing to do is to send him down to Hartford (which they did) and let him get 20+ minutes and playing in all situations.
News of Erixon's demotion brought on the inevitable hopes/prayers that the move was due to a miraculous and ultra...
After opening the campaign winless through three, the Rangers broke the ice with road wins over Vancouver and Calgary. The team then turned in an uninspired effort against Edmonton in a 2 - 0 loss to the young Oilers Saturday. They conclude their long road journey tomorrow in Winnipeg before heading home for the season opener at MSG Thursday against the Leafs.
Getting a couple of wins was nice and a 2 - 2 - 2 record to start given the difficulty of the travel schedule isn't so bad but we still haven't seen the team play like the squad we expected to see. Here are some thoughts on the team so far and some random musings on a couple of the teams the Rangers have seen on ...
The Marc Staal situation is still no clearer today than it was weeks ago. At this point he is still in the States practicing with the Rangers AHL affiliate in Connecticut while his teammates are continuing the exhibition season in Europe. The question is when will Staal be ready to play.
Obviously the Rangers need Staal if they expect to challenge for the Atlantic Division crown. Given how much he plays against the opposition's best, a lengthy absence will force the Blueshirts to use inferior or more inexperienced defenders to counter some of the most skilled players in the league. For a team that relies so heavily on playing good defensively not having Staal in the lineup is a ...