Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Injuries and Notes from Saturday Night's Fever

The latest out of Islanderland is that Bryan Berard will miss 2-4 weeks with a groin pull. Although, Ted Nolan is correct in stating that the Islanders have plenty of depth on the blueline, the question becomes, can MAB step up into the role that was presented to him on a silver platter in training camp? Listen, we all know that MAB has an exceptionally hard shot and is good puck mover; but we have yet to see the defensive skills that he displayed the end of last season (Remember that reports out of Edmonton at the time of trade warned of serious defensive lapses at critical points in games). So I'm taking the wait and see approach with this one. I just hope Berard takes advantage of this 3 week homestand to regain his health and get back in the lineup, which is currently numero uno on the powerplay. How long have Islander fans waited to hear that?

As for the thriller on Saturday night, several of the penalty calls or lack thereof may have come into question. The biggest three that come to mind were the offensive interference on Sean Bergenheim with under 2 minutes to play. In my mind, and remember I'm as big an Islander fan as all of you, that was a FANTASTIC call. As part of the Standard of Play Initiative enacted after the lockout, a player can't be a moving pick for the puck carrier in the offensive zone. So props go out to St. Pierre for that call.

On the flip side of that, the no call on both Bruno Gervais and Chris Campoli who both made it back to hound Sergei Brylin on his overtime breakaway was correct. At no time did either, Gervais or Campoli impede Brylin's progress. Although, Campoli did have his stick dangerously between Brylin's legs reaching for the puck. If Brylin was smarter in this situation, he would have turned his body to the right to gain position on Gervais and also trip himself with Campoli stick most likely resulting in penalty shot. But I digress, as it was an excellent non-call by McCreary.

Last but not least, of course because it set up the game winner was the tripping call on Andy Greene, in the final minutes of overtime. If you saw the replay Bill McCreary took a second to think about this one. But in the end, everyone including Brent Sutter has to understand, that these are NHL players and they are held to the highest of standards. Don't carry your stick above your shoulders and don't get in the way of someone going for the puck. In today's NHL landscape you will get called everytime. So in essence, I believe that McCreary correctly assessed a penalty in this instance and unfortunately for the Devils, it cost them the extra point against a division rival.

For questions, comments and dumb penalty calls: e-mail me @ DougD84@optonline.net

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