The Oilers sent Lowe ahead to speak with Roloson, the cranky old man of Long Island:
"Let us take two points in this city. We will not make dirty plays on any of your younger teammates and we will not embarrass you by running up the score. You remember that contract I gave you, we are old friends! And your club has no intention of making the playoffs, so why not let us pass through your territory in peace, taking two points as we leave, and we will all be very happy."
But Roloson looked at him with disgust and would not let him pass through his territory. In fact, he invited Lowe himself to suit up for the game and step into his crease to "see what would happen." He then went to the dressing room and told Dougie Weight ("I remember playing with that guy, he always used to confuse Mariusz Czerkawski and so he'd constantly speak to me like I didn't know English... good times") and the rest of his teammates about the offer he had received. By doing so he fired up all of his teammates and they marched out onto the ice to play a hard and physical game against the Oilers.
The Oilers, however, played a strong game and were too much for the hapless Islanders. They were decisive winners on the scoreboard, overwhelming the Islanders with their skill level and passing, and Fernando Pisani finally got his revenge on Andy Sutton by convincing Steve MacIntyre to fight him as in a pugilistic celebration of All Saints Day. It was a beautiful night. But not one of them dared go near the crease.
Edmonton Oilers (7-6-1) @ New York Islanders (4-4-5)
Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, 5:00 P.M. MDT
More analysis after the jump...
Visiting Team Scouting Report: Before the season started I, and everyone else, predicted that the Islanders would be missing the playoffs this season. I still think that they will. They get outshot most of the time (though not as badly as the Oilers!) and their most important forwards are either very young and still improving (Tavares, Bailey, Okposo) or a 38 year-old version of Doug Weight. It's sometimes difficult to know when a team like this is ready to move up the standings and when they're still just bad (see: 2008-09 St Louis Blues) but at this point it doesn't look like the Islanders have turned the corner.
Dominik Jamsky of Lighthouse Hockey gives us a look inside the Isle:
Meme 1: The Islanders just beat three of the top four teams in the East! They're finally coming around like some kind of Godzilla!
Meme 2: The Islanders just beat three of the top four teams in the East. Hope they enjoyed it, because they'll surely have some letdown against the ailing Oilers and we'll remember how everything is misery and oh, just end it now.
The reality is the Islanders are a rebuilding squad that's had a really good week. That will happen. When they're fairly healthy and doing what Scott Gordon says, their forechecking can force teams to make hilarious mistakes -- or if you prefer: wet their pants -- which is why the Islanders have grabbed several early leads that they don't always hold on to. But the roster is still thin, their margin of error thinner. Martin Biron and Dwayne Roloson (who will start tonight) just might be rounding into form to steal some games, which is why they were signed instead of Joey MacDonald.
Your GM's son, who was scratched after one (rather decent) game to make way for your GM's castoff, had an October to remember: From five healthy scratches to his first NHL hat trick, casting years of fan debate in a new light (Tambellini really is our version of Rob Schremp). But about that castoff: After trying Schremp at wing, center and powerplay specialist, the Islanders have decided he's not suited for the wing, yet they don't want to use him at center unless an injury -- or two -- happens up the middle. Frans Nielsen, who you've never heard of but should watch, is thrice the center Schremp is. When Trent Hunter comes off IR, Schremp's roster position likely disappears. How we'll remember him: His shootout conversion helped seal our first "win" (er, tie + bonus point) of the season.
Edmonton Oilers (7-6-1):
Penner - Horcoff - Hemsky
Jacques - Brule - O'Sullivan
Cogliano - Gagner - Nilsson
Moreau - Stortini - Pisani
Grebeshkov - Smid
Chorney - Gilbert
Strudwick - Peckham
New York Islanders (4-4-5)
Moulson - Tavares - Okposo
Tambellini - Bailey - Weight
Thompson - Park - Schremp
Sim - Nielsen - Bergenheim
Sutton - Martinek
Witt - Hillen
Martinek - Sutton
Behind the Numbers:
- Jeff Tambellini scored his first NHL hat trick on Halloween against the Buffalo Sabres in front of his father who must have known the Oilers wouldn't be worth watching in Boston. Tambellini was proud to see that his son dressed up as a legitimate NHL forward.
- The Islanders currently have a shot differential of -3.0 which isn't good but puts them miles ahead of the Oilers who sit dead last in the NHL with a shot differential of -8.5.
- Under "You know you're in trouble when..." the man that leads Oiler forwards in Corsi/60 is Steve MacIntyre with a tidy 0.000/15. All of last season MacIntyre had a rate of -6.598/15 which, as you might imagine, is terrible. So far this season Ethan Moreau is at -8.135/15.