January 9, 2011

Isles 4, Avs 3 (OT); Tune in to NYI FYI on Sunday!

As I had originally thought, the Islanders indeed decided to go with Kevin Poulin after his strong NHL debut in relief of Nathan Lawson on Thursday night. Unfortunately for Poulin, this one didn't start off as smoothly. In the end though, Poulin would end up with his 1st NHL win.

Within the first three minutes, the Avs had a 2-0 lead on the Isles. But they seemed to regain composure, and Poulin started making some nice saves. Jeremy Colliton, playing with the Isles for the first time since leaving North America last season to go to Sweden, got the Isles first goal on the power-play putting in a rebound left by Craig Anderson. Later in the 1st, Colliton would score again, being left alone in front of the net, and scoring on one heck of a wrist shot. The former 2003 2nd round pick of the Isles looked good and for this game and finally showed glimpses of why he was so highly regarded a number of years back. Colliton is just 25 years old, and it was nice to see him contribute. The odds are against him, but perhaps his dream can still come true of contributing to an NHL line-up.

Like I mentioned, Poulin made several key stops after settling down from the slow start, but the Avs really pressed in the 3rd. They finally broke through with only seconds remaining, setting the stage for John Tavares to make a nice cut towards the net for the game winner in overtime.

Blake Comeau was also a standout to m in this game. His goal came off of that awesome shot that he is known to have from time to time - and I really wish he would use it more. Lately we are seeing the Comeau we were all hoping to see at the beginning of the year. There were a couple of plays he made that stand out because of how he hustled. He laid a hit on an Avs player after he was beaten to the puck, but Comeau really went full speed to the area and even though he just missed winning the puck in that battle, he slammed the player into the boards by the benches. It's things like that that make me smile and say that's how he's supposed to play. Now if only he could find a way to put in that kind of effort every night and not only when he wants to.

As a side note in this game, of course, Rick DiPietro was sent back to New York on Friday night to "rest and get treatment" on that tweaked groin of his. For many this raises red flags. Unlike Sean, I have been very optimistic about anything DiPietro since his quick stint on the IR three weeks ago. Generally, this situation doesn't earn the benefit of the doubt but I am once again giving it to them. He wasn't going to play in either of these weekend games supposedly, so sure - send him back to prepare and not risk further injury. I don't think he's serious right now but could possibly be very close to being hurt bad once again, so better to let him take the entire weekend off and go from there. We'll see. hopefully we can ride with the "Poulin Wall" (thanks for the nickname, Chris Botta!) for a little bit to buy some time.

NYI FYI Sunday at 11 AM: Sean and I will be on live at 11 AM for the next installment of the NYI FYI show. You can watch us do the show through UStream where we will have a chat room up and running, as well as AIM. We'll give you the SN when we're on. For those who can't watch the live show, you can watch the recording on that UStream site or as you have been able to in the past, just check out the podcast site. We hope you guys enjoy and for those of you joining us live, come prepared with your thoughts and questions!



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