Successful in their quest for the first draft pick, the Islanders expertly executed their dual game plan last night. First, they would lose the game, thus putting Toronto two points farther away from the lottery. Second, they would instill Toronto with the confidence to go on a winning streak.
Old friend Jason Blake had a banner night -- and you know that made 7th Woman happy. It was the kind of night he'd have in an Islander uniform to earn himself a big fat Leafy contract. Poor choice of opponents to do it to, but it was good to see him in form.
Vesa Toskala, who's had a rough year, revealed the signs of life he's been intermittently showing for the Leafs lately. He made sure there was no sincere Islanders thought of a comeback. - Lighthouse Hockey
It was nice of Blake to have a three point night against his old team, normally that works the other way around for Toronto. Also note Dominik's love of Mr. Blake. While at a Leafs-Isles game in New York last year I noticed the same sentiment. Everyone there loves Blake and doesn't know why we all try and hit him with our cars while he's walking out of practice.
As for Toskala, he wasn't scored on from farther than the blue line. Baby steps.
Here's more great work from you know where though:
But things may finally be turning for Blake. While the 35-year-old has repeatedly demonstrated that it's wise to reserve judgment about his play, even when he teases with a few good games, his game has ramped up again.
Jason Blake has one good night and his career is saved, got it. Getting 3 points against the Islanders makes up for a year and a half of being invisible (Note to self: insert albino joke here later - Chemmy).
More importantly for Blake, he said he is regaining the confidence necessary to keep him on the right side of that line between fulfilling expectations and underachieving.
"I think it is slowly but surely coming," he said. "I think the more you play, the more you get into the game and the better you play – just keep on going, keep working hard and stay positive.
You know, Blake is in his mid 30s, you think he'd have confidence to do the job he's been doing for the past decade. Man I hate this guy.