Bailey Finally Looking Comfortable In Win Over Sens
It seems like Jack Capuano and the Islanders have all of a sudden found their inner Al Davis because they "Just Win, Baby!"
The Islanders season has been over for awhile now, their best players have been on the shelf for weeks, and they are basically rolling out the Bridgeport Sound Tigers lineup acting as an NHL lineup day in and day out, but somehow these kids have collected points in 10 of their last 13 games over the past month.
The Islanders went into Ottawa Wednesday night and knocked off the Senators 2-1 on the backs of Anders Nilsson and Josh Bailey. Yes, I said Anders Nilsson and Josh Bailey. Nilsson was a monster in net, denying 35 of the 36 shots he saw and Bailey was reminiscent to the guy that the Isles picked in the 1st round as he was all over the ice picking up a goal and an assist, both on the power play.
The Islanders controlled the physical play the entire night and the Sens never seemed to get comfortable. Cal Clutterbuck was his normal pesky self and harassed the Ottawa power play enough to force not 1, but 2 breakaways. Even though he didn't finish on either chance, his scrappy play and continued toughness were huge factors in the victory.
The Isles cashed in on 2 of their 4 power play opportunities while their penalty kill was successful on 4 of their 5 chances.
The Islanders held a 1-0 lead going into the 3rd period where Milan Michalek stuffed the puck past Nilsson while there was a major scrum in front of the New York goaltender. The puck seemed to be covered, but the referee felt he still had sight of it and it squirted out right on to Michalek's stick after a few seconds.
3 minutes after the Senators got momentum in their building, the Isles cashed in again as Casey Cizikas cleaned up a pretty play by Bailey that forced goalie Craig Anderson to the ice. Strome picked up his 2nd assist of the night on this play as well.
The loss was devastating to Ottawa's playoff chances as they're now 5 points out with 6 to play and currently trail 4 teams. On the other hand, the Islanders are one of the hottest teams in the NHL going 7-2-1 in their last 10 and 13-4-2 in their last 20 road games.
The Islanders will not be playing hockey in May, but they seem to be great at playing spoiler. The call ups that the have suited up in the 2nd half of the season have brought grit and heart that is finally translating into victories. The experience that they are getting at the NHL level is completely different from the AHL and should go a long way for next season.
They are also making it easier on Garth Snow to give the Sabres this seasons number 1 draft pick rather than next years. "Just Win Baby!"