What a hectic night. There weren't all that many games for a Thursday night but I got caught all over the place trying to be a sports fan.
First, I was watching the Colts-Titans football game, which featured yet another come-from-behind victory by Andrew Luck and the Colts. They are the cardiac kids incarnate.
Then I checked in while my favourite NBA team, the OKC Thunder, took on the Golden State Warriors. That was a barn-burner of the highest degree. These are two of the most prolific offensive teams in the league featuring some of the biggest and most exciting offensive stars. The absolutely filled it up in a 115-114 affair that featured two seeming game-winning shots. I could hardly care that the Thunder lost a heartbreaker, my heart had already been melted by the brilliant basketball action.
And all during that time I was trying to write the ramblings and just after the basketball game finished I check NHL.com and see Kris Versteeg had been traded to the Blackhawks. My mind was literally everywhere and I was emotionally drained. So if I missed something, I apologize.
You can find my take on the Versteeg trade here.
Anyways, on the hockey last night…
It was a battle of the backups on Long Island last night. With Jonathan Quick injured and Evgeni Nabokov being old, Ben Scrivens and Kevin Poulin got the starts for their respective clubs.
It was all going well for Poulin until the third period. He had held the Kings at bay while his team took a 2-0 lead heading into the final period out-shooting the Kings 22-15. Then the wheels came off as the Kings rallied for three unanswered goals in the victory.
That can't happen for Poulin if he wants to continue stealing starts from Nabokov. Don't get me wrong, Poulin is still playing better than Nabokov and gives the Islanders a better chance to win right now but he also will get less rope. Right now Poulin is averaging one good start for every bad one. That's not going to be enough to knock the veteran back to full-time back up.
The good news for the Islanders is that John Tavares was in the lineup after missing practice with a hip issue earlier this week. He registered an assist and is on a four-game scoring streak. To be honest, that's hardly worth mentioning with Tavares at this point as he's been held off the score-sheet in fewer games (three) than Sidney Crosby. That kind of consistency is invaluable and will be key for Tavares to make a leap to the next level.
Thomas Vanek missed his third straight game with an upper-body injury. Brock Nelson has taken his spot on the top line and has seen huge minutes as a result, including over six minutes on the pow