It has been a busy week. I just have not been able to get the time to write (and you figure since I am not in a job, I would have time…) However, this is what has been going on, and as we get to another important week in Islander country, this is what happened.
Before the Islanders took to the ice to face the Winnipeg Jets in the heart of Manitoba, Michael Picker steeped up to the Nassau County Legislature, an came out with the cold hard truth. The Islanders MUST have a building to replace the existing old barn, and there has to be movement in the IMMEDIATE future, or else the possibility will really come to fruition. The Islanders will have to leave Uniondale forever.
Being at that meeting, I came out to a very serious conclusion; I am so glad that I never went into Political Science as a college major. It is no wonder things never get done. Politicians, in my opinion just repeat themselves at every turn, and you wonder how things get passed. Instead of rhetoric back and forth, I turned to the woman I was sitting next to and wrote something simple on my note pad.
SHUT UP AND GET IT DONE!!!!
I just do not see how Nassau County can sit down and do this. They (the legislature) seems it would take hours of committee in order to tie a pair of shoelaces.
That is enough of that.
Then to the game against Winnipeg. For the first forty minutes of the game, they were matching intensity with the Jets. They were playing the typical road game. They were able to do their matchups as best they can.
Nearly two minutes into the third period, PA Parenteau got the Isles the lead for good. Evgeni Nabokov was absolutely STELLAR in the net. He brought just about every Winnipeg onslaught down with calmness and ease.
Matt Martin notched an empty netter to close the scoring.
Once again – the Islanders got to NHL 500 with the victory. The Isles have played much better on the road this year, and seem to be a more stable team away from Nassau. They played the perfect road game, and now have the chance to get themselves two straight wins on the road, and get over that 500 mark for the first time in over four years.
Can the momentum continue???
The Isles went into St. Louis with a whole lot of momentum and a great chance to get up to the precipice of the playoff bar. Will they make that jump to get to the line in the sand that is currently being held by Toronto?
With about 90 minutes before the start of the contest, Al Montoya was notified that Evgeni Nabokov would not be playing tonight, due to an illness. It never fails that the Flu bug would hit a hockey team at some point during a season. For the Isles, it is now. Both Nabokov and Steve Staios would not be in this game. Ty Wishart would get to play his first game of the NHL season this night.
It would sound like an excuse, but for a goaltender, having a ‘game day ritual’ is paramount to his success or not. During the day, Montoya knew that he was going to be the backup this night. Goalies will not be as intense, will not look at video (Montoya is a big believer in a lot of video on the day of the game), and will preparing all-together different than they would if they were the one to face the opponent.
Boom – the news comes out – Al would be in net; and this day was just not his day. The Isles would give up a late goal in the first, and then surrender three in the second to lead the home team to a 5-1 victory. The Isles were not together this game, and it is not just the goaltender. The first line, despite the efforts of John Tavares, were just not winning the one-on-one battles, and passes out of the zone were not crisp and on the tape. Usually, you would say that the team was not into the game. However, it was the other way. There was effort, there was purpose in this game. The team knew that they were playing one of the best teams in the NHL at this time, but their efforts were just not good enough.
The first line is offensive not getting the job done. Tavares did not score in eight games, and ironically it was the time since Kyle Okposo was moved to this line, and PA Parenteau was shuffled to the second. Although Parenteau was getting his assists, the chemistry seemed to lack a little. Coach Jack Capuano needed to make a change. It is these little changes that either make or break your team. It can make a difference from a team making the playoffs to a team that is cleaning up their lockers and going home.
Carolina was coming in off of a big victory at home the night before against the San Jose Sharks. The team was getting points in seven straight contests, and were looking to make a move up the standings. They were facing an Islanders team that had a bad taste in their mouth from their loss two nights prior in St. Louis. They did, however, had a secret weapon. John Tavares, this season, owned the Hurricanes, scoring four goals and five assists in his three games. He was the first star in all three of these Islander victories. Would he step up and do it again?
JT would score two goals, and assist on another, as the Isles would get a much needed 4-3 victory. The team would return to NHL 500 with a 25-25-8 record. They are back in a 3 way tie for 12th place with Tampa and Montreal. They are four points behind Winnipeg in 10th with a game in hand. One more point ahead of them it Washington in 9th, and one more point sits Toronto. The task is big and arduous, but is possible. The Isles believe in themselves. They just need to feel the love of the fans, and that will bring more.
Note: just eight days until the trade deadline, and I will be monitoring the day for Fansided. More info to come.