Uniondale, N.Y. – Well, that sucked! The Isles blew a 3-1 2nd intermission lead which they earned last night at the Coliseum, as the Senators scored 4 answered goals to ruin what was such a great feeling and win 5-3. If there has been a worse Islander loss this year, please do me a favor, keep it to yourself, I’m disgusted enough already thank you very much.
For two periods the Islanders outworked the Ottawa Senators and on goals by Josh Bailey, Keith Aucoin, and a power play Talley by Lubomir Visnovsky took a two goal lead into the 2nd intermission. For 40 minutes the Islanders continued their excellent play from most of their Florida vacation, outhitting, outshooting, and most importantly outworking the Senators. The Senators looked tired and slow and we looked hungry and fresh.
What in the world we are serving our guys in the locker room, after the 2nd intermissions I just don’t know? But, what I do know is that this is at least the 5th time I can recollect this season where we have emerged for the final stanza, leaving our jocks, our brains, and our hearts behind in the locker room. And I can not for the life of me figure it out, but it is starting to effect my REM sleep, and folks I need my beauty rest! Baffling, frustrating, and in need of Fix It Felix Jr.’s magic hammer STAT ! Figure it out Cap!
Josh Bailey, and Kyle Okposo were sharp and to honest looked like perennial all stars out there last night. They along with Frans Nielsen were head, shoulders, and groins above the rest, clearly our best line last night. This part is very encouraging. John Tavares, looked average, slow, and at best mediocre for the second game in a row, this part however is not.
The play of Kyle Okposo really stood out, to his credit he has truly rectified his game, his effort, and his results. He finally has begun to play like the player we always expected him to be, and suddenly he is making passes that would have even made Earvin Magic Johnson sit up and take notice.
If this is the kind of play we can expect from these two not only the rest of the way, but for their careers as well, then our organization is in even better shape than I thought we were (and we are in very good shape folks).
What can you say, but hats off to the Ottawa Senators, who last night earned 2 more points as their excellent season just keeps rolling on. Down 3-1 they did nothing but emerge from the locker room and not 2:16 into the 3rd have the contest all knotted at 3. They simply stuck to their game plan, and chose to outwork their opponent, and win the game. Yet another feather in the mustache of Paul MacLean, as his case for Coach of the year continues to grow.
True last night’s loss had it’s share of controversy, what with the Islander go ahead 4-3 goal over turned by video review , and the blatant high stick no call that lead to the Senator’s game winner with just over a minute left. Yes these were arguably blown calls for sure, but they had absolutely nothing to do with the fact that the Islander had a 2 goal lead to start the 3rd and it was 3-3 with 17:45 to go. You can moan and groan all you want at the officials but the fact remains we blew it, not them.
And did any of you actually think that the Keith Aucoin’s goal was not going to be overturned? It’s the Islanders versus a Canadian club with the review happening in Toronto!
Isles fans yours truly included, lets put our hankies away, and be big boys, and say we simply did not deserve the win last night because the Senators wanted it more.
Not Happy !
The 2012-13 New York Islander have a serious foundational flaw, which last night boiled over and in fact cost us two points. Last nights loss of course has to be hung on the player. Every loss, every win, heck every point earned is essentially hung on the guys on the ice, true. However it is the organIzations responsibility to provide them with the most optimum chance to win.
Now I am not one who normally rants and raves about the Islanders way of doing business, and I in fact am usually on the defense of Charles Wang, Garth Snow, and Jack Capuano. Last night’s loss though I cannot defend, and further they need to be called out onto the carpet about it.
The reason I am so distraught about it is of course like everything else a biased one, and the fact that this problem we will dive into here momentarily is not because of the “way” they operate it is the choices they have made inside their “moneypuck” system that have infuriated me.
Last night Matt Martin, the NHL leader in hits, was for the 2nd straight game demoted/banished from the 4th line to the 3rd line with Marty Reasoner, and Eric Boulton. Martin was given only 6:59 of TOI (ice time) with not a second of power play time!
Now granted I understand that Keith Aucoin had an excellent game on the 4th line with Colin McDonald, and Casey Cizikas for the 2nd game in a row no question, and he is making the case that he should not be the one scratched when Michael Grabner returns from his shoulder injury (get well soon buddy we need ya!) I get that, and it’s a good problem for us to have.
However to move Martin whom I defy you to tell me is not our heart and soul to this abomination of a third line simply ruins what is our strongest part of our organIzation. When Reasoner, and Boulton are in the line up on the same line Jack Capuano simply does not roll 4 lines. Last night he rolled 3 lines and in the end it cost us 2 points.
Here’s my problem with this. And I know I’m very biased because of my love for Matty Martin’s game and when he gets only 2 minutes of ice time in the first my fingertips can’t tweet my displeasure live to the world fast enough… But I digress.
My problem is this: If Reasoner, and Boulton are so bad, so unreliable that it forces Capuano to diminish players like Martin or Micheal Grabner’s ice time when they are on the “3rd” line with them, why in the world are they even dressing for us then?
Of course Grabner and David Ullstrom are out, but Ullstrom was seeing limited ice time, and was on his way to Bridgeport anyway. Which too baffled me.
Seriously if you have to cut Martin’s minutes down to 2 minutes a period because of his line mates, basically rendering one of our best assets useless then how can Snow, and Capuano justify them being in the line up? Even without Grabner, and Ullstrom the 3rd line should be Aucoin with Brock Nelson, and Nino Niednerreiter then should it not? If anyone’s minutes are to be shortened it should be Keith Aucoin‘s not Matt Martin! And here’s this little nugget for you, guess who led the Isles in shots on goal last night? Yep Mathew Martin…
Not only does the TOI for players banished here diminish we are also breaking up what was one of the best 4th lines in the game to accommodate Reasoner, and Boulton! How is this OK? The Cizikas, McDonald, Martin line had been fantastic and getting better, and you split them up? Then you sit at the post game and say we got “outworked” when the hardest working player in the league plays for under 7 minutes last night! All the while moving our best face off man Cizikas to wing! Unacceptable!
You do not need to look any further then across the ice last night for an example of what to do. The Senators have far more injuries to deal with then Grabner, and Ullstrom, and have called up rookie after rookie to fill needs rather then continuously plug in salary floor guys who are so bad that anyone who plays with them is forced to basically asked to sit and watch the game!
What’s the point in having a minor league system if you refuse to dip into it in times of need? For crying out softly Snow then acquire Matt Anderson from the Devils, and insert him into the 3rd line as a stop gap till Grabner, and Ullstrom have returned. He can do much more for us out there then Reasoner or Boulton this much is a given.
This is unacceptable, and needs to be rectified immediately whether by call ups or trade, we cannot have very good players night after night forced to have their time diminished simply cause we do not have enough confidence in their line mates to send the line out over the boards! If we can not role 4 solid lines we are not the same team that simply wore down the Capitals a couple of weeks ago, and we will be golfing in May rather than playing hockey! Figure it out and fix it, now !
- Daniel Alfredsson (first “S” is for Super) played his 1160th game last night, he is the NHL’s longest tenured captain having adorned the “C” for the Sens since October of 1999.
- Sergei Gonchar was a +5 last night
- Okposo, and Bailey had multiple point nights
- Rangers, and Jets won, but the Canes lost so there is a log jam at 32 points from 6-9 in the Prince of Wales as the Isles sit now with 29 points 3 points out of 6th or 7 points out of 15th, depending on your Point of view.
- Tonight 10pm NHL Network Hawks at Ducks… Ohhhhhhhh Myyyyyyy !!
Dawn or Evening?
As Islander fans I understand it is hard to be optimistic that things will turn out well for us, that we will have an incredible final 19 games and ride a wave into the post season dance, rather then be the kid outside the gym wishing for the invite.
We are as we speak a .500 hockey club, and along with a .500 hockey club come nights like last night, the question I pose to you is this: Is the sun now beginning to set on our season, or is it just dawn beginning to rise on what is to be a truly memorable campaign?
I without any fact or evidence truly believe the old barn has one more great run left in her before we leave for the big city and our new digs in Brooklyn, however she’s only got 3 more shots left at the post season so we are truly on the clock as old Ft. Neverlose had now entered her twilight and she is readying to be put out to pasture. She’s got one more left in her I’m telling you…
Be Great Everyone enjoy that Hawks Ducks tilt tonight !!
Tryin to capture the Spirit of the Thing…
P.S. Have a Nice Day !! :0)
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Topics: Casey Cizikas, Daniel Alfredsson, Evgeni Nabokov, Garth Snow, HOCKEY, Isles, Jack Adams, Jack Capuano, John Tavares, Josh Bailey, Keith Aucoin, Kyle Okposo, Lubomir Visnovsky, Matt Martin, New York Islanders, NHL, Ottawa Senators, PAUL MACLEAIN, SENS, Sergei Gonchar