Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Live Blog - 11/21/07 - Isles vs. Habs

Welcome to my first foray into live blogging. After 7 straight divisional games, the Isles host Montreal, led by a resurgent Alex Kovalev. After a very successful 5-2 run over those last 7, the Isles look to keep it going against a strong divisional opponent.

A few keys to the game...

- Will the Power Play return to the level of success achieved earlier in the season?

- Can DiPietro raise his game to the same level that he did playing opposite Brodeur and Lundqvist, two of his favorite counterparts?

- Will Hilbert shock the world and put one in the net?

We're about 7 minutes from gametime...back in a few...

First observation from the night is the very disappointing crowd. Those that are here seem into it, but the numbers are not what you'd expect for the night before a holiday. Where are all the college kids home from school?? A couple minutes from the opening face-off and I'm estimating around 10,000.

Fun fact - the Isles are going for the 1200th win in franchise history tonight.

Maybe a bit premature on the crowd estimate. It's filling in nicely now as the anthem is finished...not a sell-out but looking more like 14,000.

Time for the opening face-off, with the Sillinger line starting things off.

Terrible turnover behind the net less than a minute in by the Isles costs them a 1-0 deficit. Both teams have come out skating, but a costly mistake allows Montreal to capitalize first on Steve Begin's second of the year.

Kostopoulos gets dumped into the Isles net, falling over DP in the process. Watch the head Ricky!! We've got 14 more years riding on it!

Hilbert almost did it! Of course, that is what Hilbert does...ALMOST scores. At least he set up a nice flurry of chances by the Isles with his five-hole attempt.

The whistle with 15:17 to play in the first reminds me of a recent gripe I've had. Is it me, or does it seem like days pass before we get a whistle when DiPietro is covering a puck, allowing the opposition plenty of free shots at him. Meanwhile, the whistle seems to blow a nanosecond after the opposing goalie even thinks about covering up. Maybe I'm biased, but it seems to happen game in and game out.

Witt takes the first penalty of the game, for tripping. Can we stop the #1PP in the league?? Well, one minute in and a deflection in front skims off the crossbar. A fortunate bounce for the Isles.

Chalk up another one for the Isles PK, with a successful kill of Witt's minor.

Just over halfway through the first, the fourth line of Simon, Park and Jackman generate a lot of offense and a few near misses. Unfortunately, still a 1-0 game.

Whistle with 8:24 to play and the Isles get their first PP of the night, a holding-the-stick minor on Latendresse. Time to test my #1 key to the game...getting the PP back on track.

AWFUL! After allowing Montreal a short-handed break, Comrie takes a tripping penalty to negate the team's first oddman chance of the game. The team has so far looked a little uncomfortable in their own end, and at this point I'd feel almost fortunate to escape the period down only one.

They're auctioning off game used sticks tonight. I'm tempted to buy Hilbert's so I can guarantee that I am the first to score a goal using it.

2:21 to play in the first and the Isles will get a chance to redeem themselves on the power play...

Good puck control, they were in the offensive zone for most of the 2 minutes, but no goals and the period ends with the Isles trailing 1-0.

Back at the start of the second...the Isles look like they have a little more jump to their steps, and they're cycling the puck very well. Breaking the momentum, Hunter gets called for a very questionable tripping call. Looked to me like the guy tripped over the net, but hey I'm not a ref. Another chance to boost the PK stats.

The PK is successful, but seconds later Montreal pokes one past Ricky and the lead is 2-0. While there's still over half a game to play, for some reason I have the feeling that a comeback is a longshot. This is the polar opposite of how I felt during Arbour's 15ooth game, when they fell behind 2-0 and I still felt very confident the team had a comeback in them.

And just like that it's 3-0 off a nice wrist shot from the top left circle. I'm worried this game could get out of hand, but I really hope I'm wrong. A comeback at this point would be all the more sweet. In fact, as I'm typing those words, Satan blasts a shot right off the crossbar....that close to cutting the deficit back to 2.

10:57 to go and another Isles penalty...not what the team needs. I'm going to give my fingers a rest for a bit, back when there is some good news to report.

Back sooner than expected...not a goal, but a good scrum in front of Huet, with Witt dropping the gloves and ultimately scoring a takedown against Komisarek. Hopefully that'll get the team re-energized and back into the game.

Not likely as the hit Simon with 4 minutes for roughing and unsportsmanlike conduct, on top of Witt's 5 minute matching major for fighting.

I think this blogging night is almost over. Montreal is now up 4-0 and they still have 2 minutes on Simon's penalty. Call me unprofessional, but hey this isn't my profession! Unless things start to turn around, I am going to bury my head in my keyboard and watch highlights from our win over the Rangers on Monday night.


Outsider said...

Good stuff so far, Mike. I don't blame you for losing your enthusiasm at 4-0. A comeback didn't look likely on TV either. Now it's going to take a 3rd period explosion. Maybe they can take advantage of this PP to end the 2nd and make the deficit less imposing.

Mike Carey said...

I hope so...why they didn't shoot quicker on the 5-on-3 is beyond me. So much for Guerin calling the post-Ranger hangover "ridiculous"...

Outsider said...

Let's hope they don't have a post-Thanksgiving hangover too. Should be a fun time in the locker room later tonight! Go get 'em!

7th Woman said...

Yes... I'm sure the post game interviews were "QUITE" interesting! Sillinger looked dissapointed, for sure. But Ricky looked like he just wanted to get out of there as fast as possible. So THAT'S what the post game looks like on TV.

Outsider said...

Ricky tends to look like that even when they win. But he always stands up and answers the questions. And I think I heard some of our guys get in some questions tonight! I think I heard Mr. Schuerlein fire away at Rick and Ted, and maybe Tom got in there as well. Or was that you, Mike?

Scotty Hockey said...

For whatever its worth, I photographed much of the game for the Isles. if you want to grab a few pics for your blog, feel free.

Anonymous said...

Would it be premature to blame the Tryptophan on last night's performance?