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Isles need improved penalty kill to beat Pens

May 7, 2013, 12:45 PM EDT

Kunitz scores Getty Images

What do the Islanders need to do to beat the Penguins?

Oh, nothing really — just “play almost perfect hockey,” according to their coach, Jack Capuano.

Despite losing 5-4 in overtime, the Isles played well in Game 3 of their first-round series at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Sunday. They outshot the Penguins, 36-25, and outscored them five-on-five.

But the Isles weren’t perfect. Pittsburgh ended up with five power-play opportunities, converting on three of them, including the winner in overtime.

The winning goal, by Pens forward Chris Kunitz, was scored 33 seconds after Islanders defenseman Brain Strait had taken his second penalty of the game trying to defend Sidney Crosby.

Was it a questionable call on Strait? Sure. Especially in overtime. Nobody would’ve been shocked if the referee had decided to keep his arm down.

That being said, the Isles need to do a better job on the penalty kill tonight in Game 4.

“Most definitely,” said defenseman Travis Hamonic, per ESPN’s Katie Strang. “We gave up too many goals and too many chances.”

  1. tss29 - May 7, 2013 at 12:56 PM

    Having both arms over a player’s shoulder and pulling him to the ground is a questionable call? False.

    Also, why should it matter if it happens in overtime or not? A penalty should be a penalty, no matter how much time is left in the game or how many penalties have been called against that team already.

    • holeecowman - May 7, 2013 at 1:03 PM

      idk what your were watching there buddy it was1 hand and yes it very much is questionable. everybody knows the penguins shenanigans, its nothing new for them to dive/embellish. gm 3 was obviously handed to them w/o question. I am hoping the isles upset this series. bylsma came out and said that the calls should be favored for the precious little pens. obviously you have only been around since Crosby entered the league.

      • hockeywithdrawal - May 7, 2013 at 1:06 PM

        That’s the dumbest response I’ve ever read. Bylsma came out and said that, eh…you sir, are either drunk, or should start drinking. The calls have been iffy on both sides – all year, actually. I can’t tell you how many missed calls against the Islanders there have been (since you obviously aren’t watching the games).

        Tss is right – if it’s a penalty, call it. If it’s not, don’t.

      • miketoasty - May 7, 2013 at 1:25 PM

        One hand you say?

        https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BJh3FzZCMAEH5sc.jpg

        Did you even watch the game?

    • andrewproughcfe - May 7, 2013 at 1:29 PM

      Got to wonder where this idiocy started that grabbing a guy’s shoulder with both hands and dragging him down on his way to the net with the puck is not a clear penalty.

      And if you argue that Crosby was flopping, think about it – would the highest points-per-minute scorer in the NHL rather be upright with a shot on goal, or fall to the ground and hope for a penalty?

      • islesjb - May 7, 2013 at 1:57 PM

        Hope for 1 iffy at best opportunity or a two minute penalty in OT? Yeah, I’m going to go with option B.

        Flopping is a little strong. Embellishing is just right

    • mpk1516 - May 7, 2013 at 1:45 PM

      Apparently Toasty can’t read. Look at the photos you linked. Only one arm was OVER the shoulder, just as holeecowman says. The other was wrapped around the side of Crosby’s arm. Still a penalty, but at least try to be accurate.

      • miketoasty - May 7, 2013 at 2:17 PM

        I see two hands reaching around and grabbing Crosby, the location is meaningless. It’s a hold whether he grabs his feet or his face. Your argument is meaningless, I don’t care how he said Strait’s arms were the fact is he had both wrapped around Crosby.

        But I guess my run at being a shoulder and upper arm doctor is now in jeopardy.

      • hockeywithdrawal - May 7, 2013 at 2:59 PM

        Bottom line (to quote you) “Still a penalty”

    • biffnasty - May 7, 2013 at 1:48 PM

      Absolutely it matters. Dont want weak calls like that in overtime..but as cindy loves diving, and giving gummers, he will fall to the ice in dramatic fashion then complain to the refs bc he has a vag

      • miketoasty - May 7, 2013 at 2:13 PM

        Crosby has been called for exactly 0 dives in his career. But yep, definitely a diver.

      • buysamadrink - May 7, 2013 at 6:15 PM

        It boggles my mind how anyone without an agenda can look at this and not think it’s a penalty. Strait CLEARLY grabs Crosby with both hands from behind and pulls him down while he’s driving the net with the puck. Also what seems to be overlooked, is Strait’s right leg extending and as a result, kicking out Crosby’s right foot.

        There’s also a big difference in “drawing” a penalty, and “diving”. Crosby blowing past Strait and forcing him to take the penalty is an example of “drawing” a penalty. For an example of taking a dive, please see PK Subban.

    • bcisleman - May 7, 2013 at 1:52 PM

      You are completely full of it. I watched it in real time and on repeated replays and it was one arm. Is it an arguable interference call? Sure. It is, however, borderline and if that kind of play gets called, its a little hard to understand how, for example, repeated slashes on Grabner so hard he had to briefly leave the game in the third were not called. Referees should be consistent and if that sort of marginal infraction is going to be called, then a lot of stuff the Pens did in the third when the Isles were all over them should have been as well.

      • hockeywithdrawal - May 7, 2013 at 3:03 PM

        I was actually thinking the Isles have been getting the benefit of swallowed whistles this entire series with the exception of game 1. The only ones the refs have called are the blatant ones that had to be called. Such as a player going into scoring position that gets held.

        The best way to avoid a penalty trying to hold Sid up is not to commit one. You can’t commit a penalty and then say “well, they shouldn’t have called THAT”.

        I like Brian Strait but he’s been a liability for NYI since game 1 and his foul on Cooke. Didn’t pack his brain for this series.

      • fbothharbaughs - May 7, 2013 at 3:36 PM

        So using your logic, Harmonic (I think) shouldn’t have been called for interfering w/Iginla in the 1st to give the Pens a 5 on 3 because he only grabbed him w/one arm?

    • jl9830 - May 7, 2013 at 3:50 PM

      It was questionable because the same call wasn’t made the rest of the game. Grabner was speared by Kunitz seconds earlier and that wasn’t called. Tavares was dragged down the same way Crosby was, and it wasn’t called. Then, to call it on Crosby in OT of the closest game ever? It wasn’t consistent with the rest of the game.

  2. islesjb - May 7, 2013 at 1:00 PM

    Isles only scored 3 goals 5-5. Okposo’s goal was shorthanded.

    Penalty kill looked pretty vulnerable on Sunday but if the Isles are going to pull this out, Nabakov has to return to his April form. It’s going to be hard with him letting in 3-5 goals every game. He hasn’t let in too many “softies” but cup contenders need their goalie to make the difficult saves at key moments- he didn’t do that on Sunday but did on Friday (glove save on Crysby) and that was a big part of why they were able to pull off that W.

    In reference to the penalty on Strait- like the author said, it was a penalty by definition, but like the late goal on Ovechkin last night, Crosby did his best to embellish it and sell the call. Guys like Ovi/Crosby are going to get that call 99 times out of 100. Isles need to stay out of the box tonight and be careful around #87 (still need to smack the piss out of him).

    -PS- I don’t actually hate Crosby acknowledge his greatness- just spoke what I felt is the truth

    • hockeywithdrawal - May 7, 2013 at 1:07 PM

      Here’s a good way to not get a penalty called vs. Crosby…don’t commit a penalty. Any argument there?

      • islesjb - May 7, 2013 at 1:54 PM

        well can you acknowledge that that call doesn’t get made 100% of them time? Bc he embellished it and the fact that it was Crosby influenced the call.

      • hockeywithdrawal - May 7, 2013 at 3:05 PM

        I watched the Habs/Sens game and saw Bourque elbow Conacher in the face and it wasn’t called a penalty. Are you saying that just because it doesn’t get called 100% of the time, it shouldn’t be called when the Islanders do it, when it’s a play that could have made the game for the Pens in the first place? Nah, it’s a penalty, call it.

      • bcisleman - May 7, 2013 at 1:54 PM

        It was a marginal call. Lots of stuff CAN be called in the course of any game. If referees called ALL of it every game would be 3-4 hours long. Given the stuff they let go in the third, it was questionable to call that.

  3. holeecowman - May 7, 2013 at 1:05 PM

    if the refs call a fair game w/o favoritism the isles should win gm 4. cindy is supposed to be the best but get pulled down by strait lol… the best diver/embellisher yup that’s more like it.

    • hockeywithdrawal - May 7, 2013 at 1:08 PM

      If anything the refs have let the Islanders have some. You should watch a game.

      • bcisleman - May 7, 2013 at 1:58 PM

        I did and that’s absolute nonsense. Pens were obstructing JT all third period long and one Pen lumberjacked Grabs repeatedly as he came into the Pit zone. YOU should watch the game!!!

      • hockeywithdrawal - May 7, 2013 at 3:11 PM

        I actually don’t think “obstructing” is a penalty, is it? Interference is, but they can obstruct without illegal contact all they want. I’ve watched a lot of BS from NYI the entire series not get called. And Carkner shouldn’t even be playing…hitting a guy on the ice in the face with your stick while you’re sitting on the bench should be a 7 game suspension, same as joining the ice just to go after someone. Carkner was too effing lazy to even get up. I actually don’t believe i’ve ever read the ‘lumberjacking’ rule, either. The refs know they can’t put the Pens on the PP and have a feel-good story for the Isles…they’re giving them EVERY opportunity to keep playing.

      • islesjb - May 7, 2013 at 1:59 PM

        examples? Like that blatant slash on Grabner? Were they, “letting them have some” there?

      • hockeywithdrawal - May 7, 2013 at 3:18 PM

        Jesus – learn the rule – pay attention to the contact with the pant or front of shin pad –

        61.1 Slashing – Slashing is the act of a player swinging his stick at an opponent, whether contact is made or not. Non-aggressive stick contact to the pant or front of the shin pads, should not be penalized as slashing. Any forceful or powerful chop with the stick on an opponent’s body, the opponent’s stick, or on or near the opponent’s hands that, in the judgment of the Referee, is not an attempt to play the puck, shall be penalized as slashing.

      • islesjb - May 7, 2013 at 3:48 PM

        Okay so by definition, that was a slash on Grabner. He didn’t have the puck and was slashed aggressively in the stomach.

      • hockeywithdrawal - May 7, 2013 at 4:05 PM

        Or embellishment…evidently the ref didn’t feel either one is accurate. Actually I’ve only heard you and one other Islanders fan comment on that one. Clearly it’s a conspiracy.

      • islesjb - May 7, 2013 at 4:11 PM

        Didn’t say it was a conspiracy. It was a missed call on Grabner while Crosby was given the benefit of the doubt

  4. holeecowman - May 7, 2013 at 1:07 PM

    true story bro.
    98.9% Pittsburgh penguins fan base established 2005. and think they know everything there is to know about hockey.

    • sportsfreak13 - May 7, 2013 at 1:18 PM

      Fact 98% of flyer fans on PHT troll pens fans because their team didn’t make the playoffs. On a side note, I saw a video of giroux doing karaoke this week and hahaha, he’s as bad at singing as he was his first year as captain.

    • miketoasty - May 7, 2013 at 1:29 PM

      Who said we think we know everything about hockey? We know for a fact that we know everything about hockey.

      • therealdeal18 - May 7, 2013 at 1:34 PM

        I dont really get the ‘your fan base was established in 2005′ jab. Did pittsburgh gain fans because of getting sid, fleury, geno and letang? Ya… what team wouldn’t gain fans by adding top caliber players? If youre a fan of hockey youre a fan of hockey. Unless you were born a hockey fan holecow then I don’t see why you have the right to judge other people for when they became fans.

        Those ‘fairweather’ fans that Pittsburgh gained in 2005 are helping ROOT sports to get the highest tv ratings in the NHL. Go ahead and make fun of them for when they became hockey fans but it just comes off as you being extremely jealous of the Penguins talent.

    • urineidiot - May 7, 2013 at 2:23 PM

      butt hurt

    • hockeywithdrawal - May 7, 2013 at 3:13 PM

      You really are coming across as a butt-hurt little guy…you haven’t said anything that makes any sense about hockey.

  5. eigglesnosuperbowls - May 7, 2013 at 1:18 PM

    Whats the over under on 5 on 3 power play time for the team from pittsbugh tonight if i had to set a line i i would say 1min 30 sec of two man advantage time

    • miketoasty - May 7, 2013 at 1:27 PM

      What’s the chance the Islanders keep being out of position on Penalty Kills and cause themselves to then take dumb (But necessary) penalty’s?

      Oh how are those Flyers doing though? Giroux still yelling at refs and cheap shotting players when he doesn’t get a call? Oh wait, I guess you can’t do all that while golfing.

    • therealdeal18 - May 7, 2013 at 1:28 PM

      no one likes you.

      • eigglesnosuperbowls - May 7, 2013 at 1:32 PM

        Your mom dies

      • sportsfreak13 - May 7, 2013 at 1:34 PM

        You can’t even type a 3rd grade comeback properly. Hahaha.

      • eigglesnosuperbowls - May 7, 2013 at 1:51 PM

        Your my dies her special place orange and black got cha again with an over the hand right stupi yinzers hahaha

      • sportsfreak13 - May 7, 2013 at 1:57 PM

        haha in that instance its dye’s not “dies”. You really are stupid. hahaha.

      • fbothharbaughs - May 7, 2013 at 3:44 PM

        Anyone know what an “over the hand right” is?

        Stupid yinzers, indeed… 1975!

  6. therealdeal18 - May 7, 2013 at 1:35 PM

    Geez.. if my mom passes in the next few hours I’m definitely never insulting eiggles again.

    • eigglesnosuperbowls - May 7, 2013 at 1:56 PM

      I ment does i apologize you all know i cant spell. Realdeal. Your reply is funny as sh#t

      • therealdeal18 - May 7, 2013 at 3:04 PM

        Haha I know what you meant man, no big deal just messin with ya.

      • eigglesnosuperbowls - May 7, 2013 at 5:03 PM

        realdeal thanks for the mulligan now lets get back to the insults we can’t lose our edge with the nicey nice stuff

    • eigglesnosuperbowls - May 7, 2013 at 4:57 PM

      Realdeal thanks for the mulligan

  7. pitpenguinsrulez - May 7, 2013 at 1:56 PM

    I love all of these armchair referees on here. Honestly you guys crack me up. You people rag on the Pens fanbase like its nothing. Well gee how come no one rags on the Isles fanbase? I mean where we’re all of the Islander fans before the playoffs? The Isles only played to 83% capacity this season and once the playoffs happen the Islander fans come out. You rip one fanbase but not the other even tho both teams have had similar issues? Doesn’t make sense. Ill give you this which is that there are bandwagon fans of the Pens but to say the WHOLE fanbase was est. in 2005 is such crap.

  8. myroncopesflask - May 7, 2013 at 2:00 PM

    If I were an Isles fan I would be extremely pumped about their future and pretty happy with what they have done so far.There are a ton of people that said the Pens are going blow them out of the rink. Don’t get me wrong I have said from the start of the playoffs the Pens will win in 5. None of the games will be easy but for NY to win they have to get the Pens to react and take stupid penalties and try to bait the Pens into trading scoring chances. I have a feeling with Neal and Orpik likely returning to the lineup tonight and with the let down of battling back from 2 goals down to lose in OT there is a potential let down for the Isles tonight. Still think Pens in 5…1975

  9. myroncopesflask - May 7, 2013 at 2:16 PM

    The Flyer fans that continue to troll every Pens are a very interesting group of people. I just cannot for the life of me understand how they think. I understand that their team is now scattered about the world playing golf or getting their ginger locks permed but why can’t their fans take the playoffs off just like the players. All of them post the same things on every article. Bankruptcy, Diving, Cry Baby Crosby. In most cities fans are commenting on why their team is losing or what they should do to improve. Not this fan base… I get the entire envy frustration of your biggest rival winning cups mixed with 40 years of always falling short of the only goal. Why is there not more anger and outrage aimed at the leadership of the Flyers? When the Pens lost in the cup finals the following year the team fired the coach after a 5 game losing streak. The Flyers owner gives the GM and Coach that clearly has lost the locker room a free pass. Oh well too each their own I guess…1975

  10. valoisvipers - May 7, 2013 at 2:58 PM

    myroncopesflask – You say the Iles should try to bait the Pens into trading scoring chances. The Pens will take that bait,the rod,the reel, the fishermen and the b…well Dude you are going to need a bigger boat.

    • therealdeal18 - May 7, 2013 at 3:12 PM

      In my opinion I dont think the pens should take that bait. The islanders are fast and have proven scorers in JT, Moulson, Boyes and Okposo all of a sudden. Thats without mentioning grabners speed. I’d feel a lot better if the pens got to their cycle game and played dump and chase and try to have offensive zone time instead of trading chances. Trading chances means Fleury has to make a bunch of saves and that scares me some. I think the pens could definitely win a fast game where each team has a ton of chances, but Fleury is gonna look bad at the end of the day.

      • hockeywithdrawal - May 7, 2013 at 3:15 PM

        Hell NO they can’t take that bait! You’re right…The Isles have come back in the last two games when they slip into run-and-gun.

  11. myroncopesflask - May 7, 2013 at 4:09 PM

    Valoisvipers it’s possible something can change and the Pens start taking dumb penalties in the 4th game. It seems to appear that the Pens have stayed away from those silly penalties with the exception of the end of the 1st game when everyone and their mother got a misconduct. I have a boat since you brought it up. good luck to your team their buddy… 1975

  12. valoisjoeybfeld69 - May 7, 2013 at 5:13 PM

    Stay out of the box. That should help.

  13. drone501 - May 7, 2013 at 5:40 PM

    i hope carkner gets more playing time tonight.

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