New York Islanders spoil Matt Martin’s return with win


New York Islanders spoil Matt Martin’s return with win

New York Islanders spoil Matt Martin’s return with win

Sunday night’s contest between the New York Islanders and the Toronto Maple Leafs was no ordinary game between these two teams. Usually, these games tend to be a little chippy, but there might be a new contributing factor to help renew this rivalry. The Islanders defeated the Maple Leafs by a score of 5-1, but more importantly, it was Matt Martin’s return to a place he has called home for nearly a decade.

Midway through the opening period, with the Isles up 1-0 on a goal scored by Travis Hamonic, a short video tribute was displayed on the big screen, reflecting on the time Matt Martin spent with the Islanders wearing number 17. Now wearing number 15 for the Leafs, Martin responded with waves to the crowd, clapping his hands, and a big smile on his face. It seemed like that was going to be the image Islanders fans remembered on Sunday night, but that certainly was not the case.

Halfway through the second period, with the Islanders now leading by a score of 2-0, things started to get a little chippy on the ice. Seconds later, a scrum broke out that Matt Martin found himself in the center of. Believe it or not, just seconds after that, Matt Martin and newcomer, Andrew Ladd, were going at it. Both players headed on over into the box, but the night was just beginning.

Throughout the entire second half of the game, Matt Martin found himself in most of the big hits that took place, and involved somehow in nearly every scrum after the whistle. One silver lining for Matty was the fact that he was usually tied up with an Islander that was not an Islander a year ago. Whether it was Andrew Ladd, or Dennis Seidenberg, or Jason Chimera, it sure could have been worse. It’s not like he went after John Tavares, but nonetheless, his night will be more remembered as a negative more than a positive.

There is no question that Matt Martin was a fan favorite for the Islanders, and his presence is surely missed in the locker room and on the ice. However, Matt Martin’s performance came as a bit of a surprise. Yes, hitting is certainly a part of the game, and his personal game, along with arguments, late hits, glove facials, and things of that nature.

The point to be made is that it never seemed like a reality that Matt Martin would ever be checking, fighting, or impacting the Islanders in a negative way. Ever since he departed, it just felt like he was no longer an Islander. It never felt like he was going to be playing his style of hockey that Islanders fans fell in love with against his now former team until tonight.

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