The Islanders haven’t had the best of luck. From bad trades to bad arena deals, things just seem to have a way of not working out for the boys from Uniondale (soon-to-be Brooklyn).
On January 4th, in their game against the Carolina Hurricanes, it was linesman Mark Shewchyk (#92).
Carolina opened the scoring on a play that was very nearly icing. Shewchyk waved it off at the last possible minute, presumably because the puck didn’t quite make it across the line. It was late to blow off the icing call. The Islanders, anticipating the whistle, seemed to let up on the play. That gave the Canes the space they needed to find Manny Malhotra wide open in the slot to go up 1-0.
While that may have been a questionable call, the next one was obvious.
With the scored tied at one, Carolina would again take the lead on a play that should’ve been whistled down. As the Canes came through the neutral zone, Patrick Dwyer appeared to enter the offensive zone well before the puck.
“I thought he was offside by five feet,” said Islander Thomas Vanek after the game. “I let him walk in and he scored. That’s my fault.”
Whose job was it to make that offside call? The same guy: linesman Mark Shewchyk.
But the Hurricanes weren’t done, and neither was Shewchyk.
This time, the problem wasn’t so much his whistle as his positioning. Islanders defenseman Calvin de Haan’s dump-in deflected off the linesman and right to Canes defenseman Andrej Sekera. He quickly moved the puck up ice, catching the Islanders on a line change. While Isles goaltender Evgeni Nabokov stopped the initial shot on the two-on-none, Brett Sutter cleaned up the rebound to make it 3-1 Carolina.
Not Shewchyk’s best night. You have to figure there’d be a bit of a let down. Just a few days earlier, he was working a memorable night at the Winter Classic. This game, though, was one he’d probably like to forget.