Thursday, February 2, 2012

Short-Lived, But Still Sweet.

Hey, guys.

So, all went better than expected over at Aerys Sports, and I am now the New York Islanders writer for their NHL section! :)

Unfortunately, that means saying goodbye to this blog. :| It's bittersweet, but of course, it's the practical thing to do. I can't handle two blogs and work and school AND lacrosse, after all.

It's been a great time, and I am grateful to those of you who have stuck with this one for the brief period of time it has been on the circuit. For those of you who still would like to read my stuff, I will link you guys up to the new site in the coming days (as soon as it gets done).

Thanks so much for reading! :)


Wednesday, February 1, 2012


I will be taking a break from Bad Angles for the time being. This wasn't planned, but I am trying my hand at the NHL beat on Aerys Sports, in the Intermission Report section for the NHL. Seeing as balancing two hockey blogs may not be the easiest feat in the world, I'll be placing this one aside for a bit and seeing what happens. You can still catch me on Twitter at @Bad_Angles, or at my personal handle, @ReinaDeLaIsla (warning: caps lock rants).

Thank you for reading, and I hope you'll check out my posts on the Intermission Report!

Until next time.


Monday, January 30, 2012

Tavares Has Strong Showing in Ottawa

John Tavares's star is still rising, but as of right now, he's proven to the National Hockey League that he's worth more than just a passing glance.

The young center was the Islanders' only representative in Ottawa for the NHL's All-Star Weekend, and a member of Team Alfredsson. He took part in three events during the Skills Competition- the Breakaway Challenge, the Skills Relay, and the Elimination Shootout- and did admirably on all of them. You can view video of one of his Breakaway Challenge goals, a nice lacrosse-style shot on Carey Price, here. (By the way, Price's Tebow... one of the best things of the night, just saying.) In the end, Patrick Kane of Team Chara won the popular vote thanks to his Superman costume and trick puck, but Team Alfredsson won the overall competition by a final score of 21-12.

Then came the actual game. Team Chara stormed out to an early lead, 3-0, but JT helped chip away at that lead, ultimately scoring the tying goal in the first period, 3-3. He added an assist on a goal by Milan Michalek, but Team Chara prevailed on a hat trick and an assist by the Rangers' Marian Gaborik, and won 12-9. Gaborik won the All-Star MVP for his efforts.

The best moments:

There are many more, but those are just the ones that stood out to me. If you want to have a ball and/or missed any part of All-Star Weekend, just go through's video console and have a good time. That is where I grabbed all these videos, btw. ;)

As for JT himself, well, he seemed to have a great time:

“I worked hard to get where I am,” said Tavares. “It’s obviously great playing with such talented players. It’s a special thing. These guys are the best in the world, and to be part of that group is tough to believe. It’s still sinking in.”

Great job, JT! We're proud to call you our All-Star.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Not Enough Whistleblowing... At All

Leafs 4: Islanders 3 (OT)

After controlling most of this game and jumping out to a 2-0 lead, the Islanders let it all slip away and then were subjected to some questionable-at-best officiating, ultimately losing in overtime 4-3.

First, the good.

John Tavares got things started early on with his 20th goal of the season 1:54 into the game. Josh Bailey also scored his second shorthanded goal in a week to make it 2-0. PA Parenteau also scored to pull the Isles even after the Maple Leafs took a late lead. The offense was much more responsive in this game than last night, and Al Montoya made only 17 saves but kept his team in it for as long as he could in his first game since Dec. 20. He even tried to make a glove save in OT that would have made highlight reels everywhere... if it hadn't gone over the line.

Then, the bad.

The Isles ended up coughing up a 2-0 lead thanks to some very shoddy defensive work. Mark Streit and Milan Jurcina were each a -2, and Mark Eaton was miraculously a 0, despite some breakdowns of his own. Ultimately, though, Jurcina has to be called out for tonight's performance; he was out of position on the Leafs' first goal by Clarke MacArthur and then was caught cross-checking a Leaf in front of Montoya, giving a perfect screen for the second goal by Jake Gardiner (the first of his NHL career).

Now, the ugly.

The goal that gave the Leafs a 3-2 lead? A whiff. Up in the air, over Montoya's shoulder and in. You cannot get any luckier or flukier than that, and while I'm sure Leafs fans loved it, everyone on my Twitter timeline was going, "WTF?" because that's exactly what it induced.

There was quite a bit of nastiness in this game too, which led to some physicality and a lot of cheapshots, many of which escaped the refs' notice on behalf of Toronto. Seriously, though, how do you miss a high stick? It's called a high stick because it's, well, high. Hockey sticks are pretty long things, you know; it's hard to miss one waving in the air parallel to the ice when it should be on it blade-first, but that might just be my hazy judgment. Tavares, Andrew MacDonald and Matt Martin, among other Isles, were the recipients of such shots, and the refs conveniently managed to turn a blind eye to every call. Talk about lousy "luck." Doug Weight certainly had something to say about it as he left the ice once the game was over (and can I just say, I adore his tirades... glad to know there's someone behind the bench with some passion in him).

All in all, the frustration was palpable, and certainly visible on the face of many an Islander as they made their way back to the dressing rooms; in fact, Travis Hamonic was seen smashing his stick on his way through the tunnel. I can't blame him. You don't go out on the ice and put up that kind of effort only to lose your way and then stand helpless as the officiating stinks up the place. But that's how it's been all season, it seems, for any game. The calls just aren't there, and they should be. At the very least, the Islanders were able to salvage a point... but it's never enough.

Until next time, which will be next Tuesday against Carolina due to the All-Star Break. Let's go, JT!

Thank Heaven For Small Inconveniences

Thanks to school and a three-hour shift at work, I didn't get to watch last night's game against Toronto (though I may not be so lucky tonight) and perhaps it was for a good reason. Apparently, our boys were blanked 3-0. John Tavares had only three shots on goal, the other three lines couldn't help the top line out (shocker), and Evgeni Nabokov was burned for three goals, two of which came from a man named Matthew Lombardi (whom I know very little of) and the other from Phil Kessel (whom I know too much of). Joy.

All I have to say is, whatever happened last night... it needs to UN-happen tonight. And that begins with given the top line shorter shifts, for heaven's sake. If Twitter can be believed, the average shifts for Moulson and Tavares were 1:03?????? How do you expect these guys to perform at top notch if you're killing them with ice time? They aren't superheroes, after all. My goodness.

Okay, that's all for now. Back half of the home-and-home tonight. May the hockey gods grant us strength.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

It's #TavaresTime! JT Scores Two, Lifts Isles Over 'Canes

Hurricanes 1: Islanders 2 (OT)

Once again, it took overtime to do it, but the Islanders were able to get a much-needed two points over their fellow struggling team, the Carolina Hurricanes, at Nassau Coliseum tonight.

Why? Two words: John Tavares.

Reporters, bloggers and fans alike are starting to sound like broken records when talking about the 21-year-old center's success, simply because there's been so much of it lately. In so many games lately, and particularly this one, he has been the difference, and with his two goals tonight (his second the winner in OT), he has reached an NHL-best 12-game points streak.

Things were dicey for the Islanders throughout this game; they looked unfocused and lackadaisical, and that sloppiness burned them in their defensive zone, as Jeff Skinner was able to convert at 8:43 in the first off of a turnover. After that, the Isles' offense seemed to come alive, but it wouldn't be until the second period that it would finally break through Cam Ward.

In that second period, the Islanders threw 23 shots at Ward, and he would stop 22 of them. The one he let in was the result of the Hurricanes' own sloppiness in the defensive zone- Kyle Okposo and Mark Streit did excellent work to keep the puck in and get to the front of the net, and Tavares would take care of the rebound.

The game stretched to OT, and Ward would make his only big mistake of the game- one that cost his team an extra point. Mark Eaton passed the puck along to Travis Hamonic at the point, and Hamonic attempted a shot that went wide. PA Parenteau picked it up and drop passed to Tavares. Ward handled the initial shot, but had no idea where the puck was (right under him). As he tried to feel for it, Tavares caught sight of it and poked it home for the win, giving him 19 goals on the year and his team another mark in the 'W' column.

It's good to see the Isles doing so well, but they cannot stop at a three-game win streak. Nor can they rely only on Tavares to score; sooner or later, they have to figure teams will pick up on him and look to shut him down, as Carolina was soon attempting to late in this game. Don't get me wrong, JT's a slippery character and strong on the puck, but he can't be the only one. His linemates and the other three lines must, must, MUST find ways to score as well. The Bailey line had some good chances, but chances mean nothing without finish. Something has to break through, and here's hoping it will against Toronto on Monday and Tuesday, because the Maple Leafs mean business this season, and they won't be sitting down for anyone.

Oh, and if you're wondering about the hashtag in the title, well... Twitter comes up with some gems. I can't be sure exactly where this one came about, but I did first see my friends Joe (@KidsGotJoekes) and Katherine (@_katherine) using it, and I fell in love with it just because it was perfect to describe the way JT's been able to take over the team and the league. Apparently, "Tebow Time" had become popular among football fans, but... I'm not a huge fan of Tebow, anyway, and neither were these guys. Thus, #TavaresTime is now a trend among us three, at the very least. I hope it catches on; it really is quite awesome. :D

Until next time.