Tuesday, November 25, 2008


No, this is not Sudden Death Dodgeball and Vince Vaughn isn't kicking the crap out of a really over-the-top villain in Ben Stiller. This is the tale of a young NHL defenseman who plays for the most highly regarded team on the continent. Ryan O'Byrne a 2nd year D-man out of Cornell made a mistake that most likely will haunt his entire career in Montreal. As the wise men say. "Hockey players and fans have memory like elephants". In other words, they never forget. Ask any hockey player about an incident that happened to them last year and they can recall the number, the name and when they're getting back at them. This case however, is a little different.

What happened last night that gave the Islanders life in what seemed to be a game headed towards defeat was one of the rarest happenings in all of hockey; Whether Ryan didn't know there as a delayed penalty or Doug Weight's use of the Overspeed tactics utilized by Scott "Flash" Gordon forced the egregious mistake, it's still something the Islanders had been working towards and had yet to get the benefit of...until last night. The entire system employed by Gordon is based on to forcing the opposing d-men to make quick decisions and force them into mistakes. Well, the gaffes don't get any bigger than scoring on your on goal. It has only happened a handful of times in the past and the research I did led me to wikipedia.org. Give it a read. You'll be amazed that most of them occurred during the playoffs.

However, the most amazing thing about last night was not that the Islanders tied the game at 3 on one of the flukiest plays in all of sports, but that they won the game in a shootout, literally stealing the 2 points and ending their road trip in dramatic fashion. If that's not a momentum boost for a team that got pretty beat up on Friday (losing to the Devils and losing Franzie to injury) then I don't know what will get them going.

Now with their record improved to 9-10-2, the boys in orange and blue go up against the Flightless Birds tomorrow evening. It should be a pretty packed house and if you're thinking of going, STOP THINKING AND GO. I'm sure it will be one heck of a game.

Pictures courtesy of MSNBC.com and ABCNews.com.

For Questions, Comments or Bonehead Calls e-mail me at DougD84@optonline.net.

UPDATE: It's been brought to my attention that I should probably explain the rule associated with the O'Byrne own goal. During a delayed penalty the team that is not being assessed a penalty has the option to remove their goaltender in favor of an extra attacker. Play will not stop until either the offending team gains possession, the puck goes out of play, the non-offending team ices the puck, the non-offending team goes offside, the non-offending team scores during the delayed penalty or the non-offending team inadvertently shoots the puck in their own net. That's why when Guerin poked the puck along the boards, he was not deemed to have possession and control of the puck and play was allowed to continue and the pressure from Weight caused O'Byrne to play the puck quickly. Without noticing that Price had already gone to the bench in favor of the extra skater, O'Byrne threw the puck back to what he thought would be his goaltender. Unfortunately for him, there was no one there.

No comments: