The New York Islanders have been promoting their new third jersey since the beginning of the season and it was finally set to debut tonight. The new design was very popular amongst fans and we were all excited to see our team play in their new look.
Now I don't think I ever want to see them wear those uniforms again.
Yesterday the Islanders (2-6-1) took on the highly talented Canadiens (7-1-1), a team picked by many to represent the east for the Stanley Cup.
The game began when the Islanders announced that franchise goalie Rick DiPietro had undergone knee surgery due to a meniscus injury and would be out four to six weeks. Yonn Davis, a former Canadien, was brought in and started the game and is likely to split time behind the net with Joey MacDonald until DiPietro returns.
For the first two periods of the game, the Islanders played their best hockey of the season. I found myself laughing at all of the Montreal fans who raided the Coliseum, making a 500-mile trip down to New York to see their team get embarrassed by the last place Isles.
The Islanders were finally clicking on all cylinders in their new aggressive system implemented by rookie coach Scott Gordon. They out-scored, out-shot, and out-played the favored Canadiens with a 4-1 score at the beginning of the third period, tpending the majority of game time in Montreal's zone.
Islanders announcer Howie Ross mentioned at the beginning of the third that Montreal has five days off and would probably lay down the rest of the game, looking forward to their long break coming up, but instead of taking a defeat, they came out firing in the third, out-shooting the Islanders 16-2.
They scored four unanswered goals and rallied to defeat the Islanders by a 5-4 scoreline, brutally crushing all of the good feeling that surfaced after the Islanders' first two periods when they played their best hockey of the season.
This loss was beyond frustrating.
The Islanders have had a lot of tough luck so far this year between injuries to key players and games they let slip away, but this one hurt the most as they collapsed faster then the 2007 New York Mets.
Here I was thinking that my team was about to defeat one of the best in the league, only to have my heart broken.
Instead this loss makes me feel that the Canadiens KNEW we sucked... and took the first two periods off knowing that it wouldn't take much effort to beat us once they turned it on.
What could have been a season changing game turned into a crushing defeat that could crush even the biggest of optimists out there.
With the loss the Islanders fall to 2-7-1, their worst start in franchise history.
It's going to be interesting to see how they respond on Monday when they take on the Blue Jackets.