There is now one game left in a road trip that began with a touchdown being dropped on the Torrana Leafs.
The boys went shipping up to Boston and Keith Aucoin (2!) couldn’t overcome Joe Finley and Marty Reasoner playing defense like they were Ray Charles: Blind and dead. Heck of a 3rd by the Bs imposing size and will of a championship caliber team against a young hockey team playing a back to backer. Valiant road effort where they ran out of gas with 15 minutes to go. No shame. Better effort then expected by Dieps frankly. Still no lateral movement and susceptible as hell to high slot screen, but he fought. He’s also been mentioned by Thomas Hickey as working with the young D discussing opposing Forwards tendencies this week. So much for “DiPietro: lockerroom cancer”. If You’re bored, you can view an entertaining back & forth between Cup Of Chowder’s staff ace, @Sarah_Connors and I at #SarahVsVinny on the twittah.
On to Winnipeg. I guess Hamonic was happy. He lives there. That’s about it. Team went bowling night before the game because WHAT THE HECK ELSE ARE YOU GONNA DO IN WINNIPEG WHERE THE TEMPERATURE IS MINUS BALLS CELSIUS? The Isles apparently got really drunk at the lanes. 1-0 Jets after 1. 2-1 after 2. Then in the 3rd? Tavares Time happened. in the span of 8 minutes, the best ‘marginal’ talent in the game did the Jets dirty. Two apples and a snipe. Jesus H Christ in a Manitoban Frozen handbasket. Isles give one back on a chincy call then Nabby whiffs on one he flatout didnt seem to see. Jets win in Ot when Both isles D go to wrong post on rebound. Youth makes mistakes. Youth can start slow.
That was a ‘same old Isles’ moment. The next game took your preconceived notions and shoved them somewhere most unpleasant.
The narrative had been written. The wayard Isles, off a heartbreaker, would come into Pittsburgh without their franchise D-man, and on National TV, again serve as the Washington Generals to Meadowlark Crosby and his Pittsburgh globetrotters. NBC was ready to serve it up in the pregame. The Isles were the lambs. this was the slaughterhouse. Then a funny thing happened…
The New York Islanders arrived in ill humor. Tavares put Crosby on his ass. He crosschecked Malkin to the deck. Grabner threw a few big hits. Matt Martin rang Cooke’s bell. And then the Zeeker caught Flower napping with a wrapping and it was 1-0 Overmatched Kids.
In the second, Pittsburgh would return fire… and Nabokov would slam the door in their face time and again. Then Reasoner made a Raiden like dive and poked it up to Grabner. Watch the replay. Flower was done the moment Grabner was clear. He was dead and HE knew it. 2-0. Isles PK kept Pens big guns off the board. Then they hooked the Great Dane and the Craftsman sponsored powerplay ended with the Isles showing their toolbox, and All world Nexus Leader Tavares SNIPED one. Another call seconds later and Moulson sealed the game. Or so we thought. McDonald took the stupidest run at Lovejoy you’ll ever see. The vaunted Penguins PP would get a 5 minute advantage to make a game of it.
Funny thing is, it never materialized. The Isles PK led by the Gremlin, the Great Dane and Matty Marts put the Pens to sleep. utterly dominant, convincing win. Isles 3-0 since the Pens put up that ridiculously tacky Lemiuex / Pilon statue. Uwe Krupp laughs, Crosby weeps. By the way… Carkner and Martin dominated and embarrassed Cooke and Kennedy all night.
I was in rare form during this one in an Isles / comic book mashup at #WeaponXProgram.
To summarize this one succinctly:
Quite a week to build on.