Apropos of Halloween, let's revisit last night's bloodbath. After all, there was a lot to digest:
--The Islanders have now lost 16 of their last 17 against Philadelphia, including 11 straight in Philly (last Isles win there was April 7, 2007).
--Rick DiPietro clearly did not have his best night, but the team didn't play well in front of him. As Scott Gordon said after the game, there were three goals you couldn't really fault DiPietro for...the second one--Jeff Carter's wrister from the left circle--was the one he'd probably want back the most.
--By no means did the officials cost the Islanders the game, but there were several suspect calls, beginning with the boarding major and game misconduct assessed to Trent Hunter in the second period. Replays showed that to be a clear shoulder-to-shoulder hit. Trent Hunter said he thought it was clean and so did I.
Then there was the inexplicable 10-min misconduct given to Frans Nielsen at the end of the game. The only thing I saw Nielsen do was get cracked in the head by Danny Briere in the faceoff circle and skate off toward the bench.
And let's not forget the triple minor for roughing given to enforcer Trevor Gillies. How does one incur such a penalty? Here's Gordon's post-game take on that call, and the ensuing skirmishes.
"There's only so much a player is going to take. Trevor Gillies goes into a scrum and gets shoved and gets six minutes and their guy gets nothing, so you know what? The guys stuck up for each other and it was good to see."
--Just asking: With less than one minute in the game and the Flyers up five goals, why was Dan Carcillo in the game?
Peter Laviolette's response when asked if that was his way of preventing things "getting out of hand" :
"No, there are a lot of guys who can do the dirty work. Darroll Powe is out there, Blair Betts is out there. Guys that just have to sit there and block shot after shot on the penalty kill or guys that have to fight and scrap so maybe put them out on the power play and see if they can get a power-play goal."
--And here's some reaction from the brawl that resulted after Nielsen went down with a minute left to play, leaving DiPietro tied up with Pronger (btw, I think DP's first leaving the crease penalty was foolish, but I have no problem with him sticking up for his teammate like that).
DiPietro made a crack at his own expense about tangling with the massive defenseman, saying:
"I was looking for anyone except him, let's be honest."
Carcillo on the last time a goalie went after him and what DiPietro said:
"Never. It would have been nice to fight him though."
"He said he wanted to go. He was asking the ref to let him go. He told Pronger that he wanted to get some frustration out. It would have been nice to get loose but the linesman had a good grip on me."
"Frustration was part of the game. Things were not going his way, obviously, with the pucks finding the back of the net. If I were in his skates I probably would've tried to do the same thing. It's just a game of hockey. We're all very competitive. I can't say I was very surprised."
--Say what you will about the need for Frans Nielsen to diversify his shootout repertoire, but as displayed last on the penalty shot last night, that trusty backhander really works.
--Suffice it to say, next week's game against the Flyers at Nassau Coliseum should be pretty interesting...
***No practice today for the Isles. They get back to work tomorrow.