I know this post will probably come across as having a “negative” tone to it. I really do not like to focus on the negative, and I would rather keep that out of my contributions here. Too many New York Islanders related websites focus on the negative, and I feel there is no point in doing so when I am a firm believer in positive thinking and supporting my team.
With that said, however, I was both disappointed and frustrated by this lost weekend for the New York Islanders. These were four points they could have grabbed and, more importantly, SHOULD have taken.
I only caught parts of the game last night, but after a very strong and promising start and a first period in which they gave up the first goal, but got it back on the power play from Frans Nielsen, things went south after that. Before I knew it, it was 4-1 Phoenix and it was all she wrote for the blue and orange.
.Islanders head coach, Jack Capuano, said, after the game, “We lost a couple 1-on-1 battles which cost us goals. And a poor line change, they got the big goal that they needed. Looking back, it was 1-on-1 battles and that line change. We have to find a way to put some pucks in the net as well because when you make mistakes, everything is magnified.”
To me, the combinations of mistakes and a lack of scoring has troubled the Isles in many games this season. This game surely emphasized this problem, despite the fact that the Islanders out shot the Coyotes 32-25 in the game.
Shane Doan netted his first hat trick of his 16 year career and, in effect, single-handedly bet the Islanders. One of his goals was the game winner, and all of his goals came off one mistake or another by the Islanders.
“Blind observations”, as I call the thoughts or reactions that I have from a game or from recent play, are as follows;
• Offense, offense, my kingdom for consistent offense. I’ve said it before, but there cannot be a reliance on the first line to score every night. Additionally, as much as it’s a good thing that the power play is clicking, 5 on 5 scoring Must be generated.
• I am a believer in it not being over until it’s OVER, but this kind of inconsistent play is, unfortunately, making a shot at the playoff picture more and more unlikely for the Islanders. Just when they gain some ground and look like they are making progress in the standings, they lose it right back.
• Evgeni Nabokov has certainly gotten better and better, but he cannot carry this team. Hopefully, Al Montoya or Rick DiPietro will be ready to start soon.
• This is NOT a knock on Mark Streit in the least, as I think he is a class act and a leader on the team, but the Islanders need a “spark” in the lineup. They need someone with Micheal Haley’s fire and intensity, but who can contribute on the score sheet and be a factor in all facets of the game. I believe that Matt Martin has that potential, but needs to continue to find his way into that role. At the moment, though, most nights, there is just something missing in the game of the New York Islanders that teams like the Blues, Rangers and Senators have found.
• There are still more than a few guys who really need to turn their games around. I am disappointed in a few thus far, and in a few cases, there lack of playing like they did throughout the last half of last season is hurting the team in more than a few ways.
Unfortunately, having the Redwings and Flyers as their next two opponents is not a reality that will give the Islanders a chance to work out the bugs. Detroit is Detroit, and we don’t have to talk about how many games in a row the Islanders have lost to the Flyers, yada yada yada … The Isles have played some impressively strong games against the better team in the league, and they are going to need to come with their collective A-game to skate away with some points this week.
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