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RECAP 17: Where Brooklyn At?

Picture this: You’re an NHL general manager.  Your team has one of the top 10, arguably top 5 players in the league.  He’s under contract at a very, very affordable number, in 7 seasons in the league, he’s been to the playoffs exactly 3 times, never beyond the second round.  He needs help around him, and currently, the only reason your team isn’t dead last in the conference is because you’ve scored 11 more goals than last place, despite having given up 9 more.  Your star needs help.  What do you do?

If your answer was “don’t let the good players around him walk for nothing, but also be willing some of my prospects in my already deep prospect pool to surround him with players that aren’t an overpaid Andrew fucking Ladd,” you’d be on the right track.

See, here’s the thing.  It’s got to be incredibly difficult to be an Islanders fan.  Tavares is basically on an…wait for it…island.  There’s this brand new arena that no one wants to actually attend with the league’s worst, most unsafe ice surface.  So much so that mesothelioma from the Coliseum is preferable to the Barclays Center.

Sure, the 3rd worst team in hockey forced overtime against the reigning Stanley Cup Champions.  But at the end of the day, you’re still just 2 points above Arizona.

FIRST PERIOD

“It is another division game against an opponent that likes to get physical instead of play hockey, so I’m almost willing to say that waking up tomorrow with no additional injuries to the lineup would be a win right now.” – 11/18/16

“Murphy’s Law

an adage or epigram that is typically stated as: Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.”

Pens got a powerplay early on, not for the above interference because this is the NHL after all, and lived most of the period in the Isles end of the ice, if you can even call it that.  The TV viewing angle was so close that you could really see how shitty the ice was.  You also could only see about half of the offensive zone.  Best way to combat that is to play simpler than counting the cumulative IQ of the short bus.

On the second powerplay of the night, the wizard would cash in for his 11th goal in as many games (and 31st in 56 games against NYI) following Halak’s controller disconnecting.  With Nelson in the box for a late, blindside hit on Wilson, the Pens built a wall around the Islanders D zone and made Brooklyn pay for it.  1-0 Pens

They’d end the period forcing Halak to make 14 saves, while Murray was tested just 5 times at the other end.

SECOND PERIOD

Pens had to start the period down a man after Malkin punched Travis Hamonic is his dumb idiot ugly mug at the end of the first.  They’d manage to kill of 1:51 of it before Strome slipped a pass to a streaking Brock Nelson.  1-1

Before getting in to the Islanders making it 2-1 43 seconds later, let’s stop for a second for a second and have a chat, shall we?  Travis Hamonic is fucking ugly.  He looks like the offspring of Sarah Jessica Parker and a barrel of mashed up assholes.  Not just a regular barrel, but one of those big ass 110 gallon drums.  Of mashed up assholes.

So, not only did he draw Malkin in to taking the penalty that would even the score, but he made an unrealistic play to break up a bouncing pass from Sheary and knock it back to Letang.  He couldn’t control the grenade and some French kid took advantage.  2-1 Isles

Two goals in quick succession could’ve easily spelled i-m-p-l-o-s-i-o-n.  With focus being the AOL keyword over the last couple of days, you could’ve bet the house on it (except if you’re a millennial, of course.  We don’t own houses).  What’s more, they took a too many men penalty in there, which again, the theme sticks.

But the Penguins have a guy named Phil Kessel, who is a nice guy that tries hard and loves the game.  He and Kunitz did some grea-he-he-sy work down low.  Philliam dug the puck out and, with the Isles entire D-zone coverage strategy being “watch the puck” as it is, he threw a no-look backhand pass to Daley coming in late to step into a bomb so devastating that Donald Trump wants to drop it on Iran.  2-2

THIRD PERIOD

After what can be categorized as a dogshit period, the Daley goal injected new life into the Pens.  Crosby’s line with Sheary and Hagelin had 2 high end chances on the first shift of the period before Malkin just barely missed about a minute and half later.  After Wednesday night, “The Islanders are going to score the next goal” would’ve been an acceptable thought to have.

Instead of a goal, we got Cal Clutterbuck bundling his own teammate and overtime.

OVERTIME

All Pens through the 3v3.  GWG started from a Malkin skyhook to Kessel, but Leddy made a great play to keep 81 from burying the breakaway.  They refused to give up the puck, though, and after Letang and Crosby jumped on for exhausted Daley and Kessel, it was all over.  Mr. Nelson, Elon Musk called.  You jock is blocking his path to Mars.  Game over.

RANDOM

  • Pens big boys were their best players.  Exactly what you want and need after the shitshow that happened at the Verizon Center.
  • Pens mostly stayed out of the box too.  Aside from Malkin’s little transgression and the too many men, they held it together.  The Islanders, on the other hand…
  • Dumoulin did return to the game after that nasty collision, but we also all know how the concussion protocol is in the NHL sooooooo
  • Daley missed some time at the beginning of the second.  Worth keeping an eye on there.  He’s just too damn good to be out a lengthy amount of time.
  • Another day, another win for Murray.  He only had a .909 SV% on the night, but is now up to 5-1 on the season with a .945 SV%.  No big deal.

Pens head to Buffalo tonight to see an old pal for a 7 PM puck drop.  Do it.