Sep 22, 2013; Nashville, TN, USA; Nashville Predators right wing Miikka Salomaki (67) keeps the puck away from New York Islanders right wing Michael Grabner (40) at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Lindsey-USA TODAY Sports

Snap Shots: New York Islanders @ Nashville Predators: 10/12/13


Welcome to ‘Snap Shots’, our condensed, quick-fix post-game follow up after every match.

Gives you, the reader, bulleted results/impressions/reactions of the game in a flash.

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New York Islanders at Nashville Predators

Bridgestone Arena, October 12th, 2013

Islanders (2) – Predators (3) 

SOG 31-16 Predators

 

Pre-Game Quips & Questions (Any and all stats courtesy of NYI Gameday Notes)

Tonight’s matchup begs a most pressing question: just how mature are the New York Islanders?

Will last night’s defeat at the hands of the Chicago Blackhawks embolden or dishearten this young team?

Kyle Okposo is a notoriously streaky player as of the last few seasons: will Okposo use his tying goal in last night’s contest to begin producing on his team’s top line?

The Islanders lack creativity and poise when exiting their own zone, not to mention all but lost inside the neutral zone. Will they begin addressing this issue against the Nashville Predators, and create the odd-man rush that was severely lacking in their repertoire in Chicago?

The most noticeable gaffe that anyone can take from the Chicago defeat is the Islanders’s inability to be consistently aggressive on both sides of the puck, and in all aspects of their thought process. As Butch Goring mentioned in his telecast with Howie Rose on MSG+, the Islanders showed “too much respect for the Chicago Blackhawks.”

With the aforementioned in mind, will the Islanders show Nashville that gritty, grinding blue-collar style of hockey that can make life for any opposing club miserable?

Most notably this past evening were the many bodily sacrifices made by Islander players in the form of blocked shots. Matt Martin, Andrew MacDonald, and others attempted to make up for defensive lapses inside their own zone by ‘simply’ hitting the ice, and using their legs, ankles, and torsos for deflecting the puck. Much due respect for those players who bring that type of selfless attitude to the team and the ice, but there shouldn’t be a constant need for it.

So, will Isles’s defensive core regroup from last night’s loss, regain their bearings, and help secure their own zone with strong man-to-man coverage and efficient puck cycling?

Cal Clutterbuck dressed for the first time as an New York Islanders last night, playing only 8:35, as reported by Mr. Art Staple.  The Isles beat-reporter tweeted that Clutterbuck ‘felt winded’ by the end of the first. Will the Isles coaching staff limit Clutterbuck’s play to under 10:00 or will they see if he can muster a bit more?

Will the Nashville Predators break their scoring slump?

The Isles and their fans will see newly signed Predators defenseman, Seth Jones, and Bob Nystrom‘s son Eric. Let’s see what they bring to the ice this eveing.

Lastly, tonight marks Jack Capuano‘s 200th game as an NHL coach. Let’s hope his team can make it a win for him.

Let’s see how it all turned out….

OH and don’t forget to check out our ongoing contest. Win some free Isles stuff!

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+/

Period One

  • The Isles haven’t been scored on yet. The sleepy play on the ice hasn’t been too much of a distraction…yet
  • Nabokov robs #15 Craig Smith right in front of his net.; right pad save. 14:00
  • Brian Strait with a nice check on Eric Nystrom who was knocking on Nabokov’s door, late in the first
  • Referees allowing play to continue, not calling hits from behind

Period Two

  • #12 Fisher called for Elbowing (4:21)
  • Michael Grabner gives the Isles a scoring opportunity, with hard work by Tavares and Bailey.
  • Jack Capuano gets the Kudos for the evening: juggling lines and Frans Nielsen (2)  scores on a line with Okposo and Moulson 1-1 (13:29)
  • John Tavares (3) gives the Islanders the lead with persistent and pesky play around Pekka’s crease. Bank shot 2-1 (15:28) 
  • Kyle Okposo with assists on both goals. All because he was removed from first line duties
  • The Isles have awoken and now have stolen the tempo

Period Three

  • Isles continue with newly-formed lineups, and some jump to the period early on.
  • After giving up the early goal, go right on a 4:00 PP. #26 Hendricks. High Stick
  • Isles kill the PP, but not before the Preds whiff on a big rebound by Nabokov. Misfire by #33 Wilson.

/-

Period One

  • Isles still showing stagnacity with their neutral zone transitions; little creativity and fluidity coming out of their own zone.
  • Cizikas with a turnover inside the neutral zone, passing across the ice right onto the tape of an on-coming Preds forward.
  • 6:00 in and the Isles have yet to muster a shot; being lulled to sleep, playing into the Preds hands at this moment
  • Only one shot mustered (Preds) through 8m; boring pace that works in NSH favor
  • Through 12:00 SOG 2-1 in favor of Preds. Going to watch paint dry. Take care.
  • A-Mac misses his mark and leave #15 Smith wide open in front of Nabokov’s crease
  • Isles offense playing to the lukewarm tempo set early; no odd-man rushes and very little speed and deliberateness on the forecheck
  • Lubomir Visnovsky whiffs on a clearing attempt in front of Nabby, and the Isles’s netminder forced to cover
  • Isles with too many NZ turnovers

Period Two

  • Predators get first PP of the evening; Cizikas called for Boarding (:15)
  • Seth Jones (1)  scores his NHL goal on the PP 0-1 (1:03 ) off a blistering slap shot; left side stick side
  • Game momentum now belongs to Nashville; Isles still sloppy in their own zone
  • Isles caught napping: 3-on-1 in their own zone; broken up by Tavares
  • Bailey gives up pick in the offensive zone, caught flat-footed and the Preds able to convert on 2-on-1 SH
  • Isles first PP opportunity squandered due to inability to setup properly inside Preds zone
  • No physical presence to awaken the Isles and put some fear in the Preds. The Isles continue to play into the Preds hands: being lulled to sleep.
  • Isles caught on a bad change; Nabokov stays with Fisher and averts scoring opportunity.
  • Nabby came out and wasn’t able to set properly. Quick transition by the Preds catches the Isles and Nabokov napping. 5 hole # 27 Patric Hornqvist (1) 2-2 (19:07)

Period Three

  • Ryan Ellis (1) blistering slapshot beats Nabokov low and to the right. 2-3 (3:23)
  • John Tavares pass intercepted on a 3-on-1 while on the PP.
  • Isles PP cannot setup at all, having 4:00 with which to work. After 3:00, and some nice puck movement, the Isles still cannot convert on this opportunity.
  • Isles completely disorganized and uninspired on the PP; relegated to the perimeter for all 4:00. 3 SOG on this opportunity. TURNING POINT.
  • Andrew MacDonald called for Hooking (8:20).
  • Preds are grinding very well, keeping Isles forwards stifled. Hemmed in and playing perimeter hockey.
  • No physical play by the Islanders. Their lack of gumption hands them their second defeat.
  • Seth Jones stick checks Grabner on a 1-on-1 opportunity.
  • Visnovsky beaten by Preds forward and almost cost the Isles another goal
  • Last second opportunities prove fruitless

 

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Post-Game Responses & Reactions

Lineup:

O: Moulson-Tavares-Okposo; Grabner-Nielsen-Bailey; Nelson-Regin-Clutterbuck; Martin-Cizikas-McDonald

D: MacDonald-Hamonic; Hickey-Visnovsky; Strait-Carkner

G: Evgeni Nabokov

Both teams start their respective 4th lines this evening, and the Isles hoping to gain the edge energy-wise. But that idea was short lived as both teams would take half a period to combine 4 SOG. Most of the excitement found within the first 20:00 came toward the end, when the Predators snuck a puck across Nabby’s crease, and earlier on, Nabokov made a key right pad save off Predator Craig Smith. First period left much to be desired for both sides.

Second period saw the Isles with better skating legs and, thus, more scoring opportunities. Jack Capuano made some key line changes, throwing the Preds for a loop. Kyle Okposo would emerge with 2A after the period ended, while Frans Nielsen and John Tavares awoke the Islander offense. But the Isles’s lead would be short-lived, as Patric Hornqvist caught the Isles napping in the NZ, and an out-of-position Nabokov was beaten 5-hole.

Third period saw another bad goal given up by Nabokov, and a wasted 4:00 PP opportunity. Followed immediately by an Andrew MacDonald hooking call. The possible Islander turning point for the better not only squandered, but the penalty robs the Isles of momentum.

Nashville shuts down the Isles forwards throughout the remaining portion of the game, playing as if they were on the PK, lulling them to sleep. Worked well, as the Preds hand the Isles their second regulation defeat.

–RD (@RDNHL)

 

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