Snap Shots: Carolina Hurricanes @ New York Islanders – 10/19/13

Oct 19, 2013; Uniondale, NY, USA; Carolina Hurricanes left wing Alexander Semin (28) and New York Islanders defenseman Travis Hamonic (3) go for the puck during the first period of a game at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

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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Carolina Hurricanes (3-2-3) at New York Islanders (3-2-2)

Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, October 17th, 2013

Game 8

Hurricanes (4) – Islanders (3) FINAL

Pre-Game Quips & Questions (Stats courtesy of NYI Gameday Notes)

Tonight’s game is the third in a four-game Islander home-stand that has showcased an imbalanced New York hockey team. Inconsistencies in all zones, coupled with a lack of concerted and responsible intensity denotes current Isles play, have led to a 1-0-1 record thus far. But if not for a right post that met with a Taylor Hall wrist shot shorthanded, the Isles could easily have forfeited their second regulation victory in as many days.

Carolina currently has a 1-point hold of second place, but with a win this evening the Isles can both reverse the roles in the standings, while also going on their first two-game winning streak of the season.

The Islanders’s one silver-lining these past eight games, however, is their PP at home, currently ranked 2nd (12th overall) while their PK unit is ranked 9th at 85%. Carolina, on the other hand, brings a disparate and uneven special teams unit to Long Island, ranked 23rd on the PP, yet an impressive PK, currently ranked 6th in the NHL.

John Tavares and Josh Bailey are the Islander players of prominence heading into tonight’s matchup, with the Isles captain currently on a 6-game point streak (3G, 4A, 7pts.) Both Islander forwards are evenly matched on the stats sheet, each with 3G, 4A and 7 points, and while Bailey can boast at having the better chemistry with linemates, Tavares can testify to his scoring and playmaking prowess regardless of the wingers surrounding him.

But the issues with overall scoring as of late belie the achievements aforementioned, as the Isles are responsible for 84 SOG having only tallied 6 goals, with the game against Buffalo resulting in an OT/SHO loss. Even more alarmingly is that the Isles have given up 7 goals on 63 shots, with the Oilers shooting only 29 on net, two of which were scored in 8 seconds.

Chalk it up to perimeter shooting on the Isles part, as most of the urgency to score, on tap late last season, is all but fizzled, with the Islanders having trouble protecting a lead, or attempting to take one late in the game.

Will John Tavares continue his success against the Hurricanes this evening? He currently has 12G, 8A in 15 games against Carolina, but the ‘Canes have proved a difficult adversary these past few seasons.

The Carolina player to watch tonight is Jeff Skinner whose team-leading 8 points are mostly due to his playmaking ability. Currently, the ‘Canes forward has 6 A and is responsible for some of the scoring success, especially on the PP.

Look for the likes of Alexander Semin, and Eric Staal to make their presences known, as their team is coming off a tough against the pesky Toronto Maple Leafs.

But the question on everyone’s mind isn’t anything just mentioned, but rather , why is Matt Donovan scratched this evening?

Tonight’s scratches: Eric Boulton, Matt Donovan, Brock Nelson

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+/

Period One

  • Islanders begin their first two shifts with speed and open ice; strong, fast tempo, with little physical play
  • Lubomir Visnovsky looking strong on an early backchecking situation; he is skating well thus far
  • Team doing well cycling into the offensive zone: short one-time passes
  • Islanders go on their first PP of the evening: HOLDING on #8 Kevin Westgarth (3:36)
  • #12 Eric Staal called for Slashing on Andrew MacDonald, and Isles back on the PP. (8:05)

Period Two

  •  Travis Hamonic with a nice backcheck against 1-on-1 challenge by Jeff Skinner late in the period
  • Hamonic improving upon his forechecking, playing solidly on the pinch
  • Nabokov with a wonderful save on a 2-on-0, but not before Carkner barrels into him and potentially causing injury
  • Matt Martin with TWO blocked shots while on the PK; gutsy play from the Isles forward
  • ‘Canes Nash called for HIGH STICKING (18:34)
  • Matt Moulson scores on the PP, picking up a late goal to end 3-1 (18:53)

Period Three

  • Isles able to kill an early-period PP
  • Matt Martin playing a strong game overall: hitting and forechecking deep on his shifts
  • Islanders begin to pick up pass on the forechecking, courtesy of a strong shift by Tavares’s line
  • Nabokov with saves a quick Alexander Semin shot off the faceoff
  • #53 Jeff Skinner called for HOOKING Kyle Okposo (11:52) 1-3 on the PP
  • Frans Nielsen (4) scores the Isles 2nd PP goal, cutting the ‘Canes lead to 2. 4-2 (13:19)
  • Isles catch a break: ‘Canes called for DOG at (16:57)
  • Isles pull Nabokov with 1m left on the PP to gain a 6-4 advantage
  • Okposo cuts down the ‘Canes lead to 1 with a wrist shot in the slot right at the end of the PP 4-3 (18:59)

/-

Period One

  • Matt Moulson with his back to the play is flattened in the neutral zone by a surging Carolina Hurricane, and New York’s rush is deadened.
  • Isles cannot setup properly on the PP
  • Peter Regin with a golden chance to score on a gaping net late on the PP; shoots the outside of the net. Bailey with the setup.
  • Islanders fail to capitalize on their first PP opportunity.
  • Most noticeable trait lacking in the Isles PP is lack of creativity
  • Isles ice the puck while on their PP, flat-footed and stale in their second PP opportunity
  • Isles unable to exploit the fast pace and lack of physicality to the game in the zones that matter
  • Lubomir Visnovsky injured late in the period; upper body injury imposed by #18 Radek Dvorak
  • Most for both teams set to the perimeter; Islanders should open the ice with some more hitting

Period Two

  • Start the period with only 5 defensemen, as Visnovsky still hasn’t returned from his upper body injury
  • Lose puck in front of Nabokov, after an odd-man rush due to a terrible backcheck (gliding back into his own zone) by Michael Grabner, goes in for the ‘Canes. (1:05 ) 1-0 #19 Jiri Tlutsy (1)
  • Thomas Hickey passes, deep inside Carolina’s zone, instead of shooting and loses out on a chance to tie it up
  • Bad clearing attempts from their own zone, leads to an Interference call on Andrew MacDonald. Carolina goes on their first PP. (5:37)
  • Martin and Cizikas create an odd-man rush while shorthanded, but Martin unable to finish.
  • #11 Jordan Staal (1) scores ‘Canes second, this time on the PP, off a quick succession of short passes. 2-0. Martin missed chance bites back
  • Isles outshot 6-1 by minute 12m of the period, being out-skated and completely flat-footed
  • #53 Jeff Skinner (3) scores on another bad clearing attempt from the Isles own zone, on a deft backhand. 3-0 (13:37)–FLAT-FOOTED
  • John Tavares with a terrible and uncharacteristic SLASHING penalty (15:41)

Period Three

  • Pierre-Marc Bouchard called for HIGH STICKING on #11 Jordan Staal. (1:50)
  • On a 2-on-1 beginning on the ‘Canes blueline, beats Nabokov as he comes across. Carkner beaten on the play. Tlusty with his second of the evening. 4-1
  • Butch Goring with a valid point: Michael Grabner absent from tonight’s matchup, and with a lazy backcheck that helped Carolina on the scoresheet
  • Isles cannot get inside Carolina zone with two-extra men.

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‘Presser’ Points

  • Coach Jack Capuano’s full presser, answering among other questions, what his team did wrong this evening.
  • Matt Martin on tonight’s loss and his missed opportunity
  • Matt Moulson with the summary of tonight’s events.

 

Post-Game Responses & Reactions

Lineup:

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

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

G: Evgeni Nabokov

 

The first period was characterized by an Islander team resorting to pucks coming up boards rather than clearing their own zone with speed and craftiness. The Islanders, as a whole, lacked creativity and urgency to their game. Moreover, the PP unit has very little sense of self, with little-to-no purpose, regardless of the fast pace.  Fortunate are the Islanders that the Hurricanes haven’t the scoring prowess of a Pittsburgh Penguins, as the open ice and speed is a recipe for a scoring rout when concerted physicality is lacking.

The floodgates opened for the Isles in the second, however, as the Hurricanes score three goals to take full command of the matchup. Carolina out-skated, out-maneuvered, and out-hustled a lazy and uninspired New York team. Aside from the Matt Moulson PP goal late in the 2nd, the Isles were all but absent. Lubomir Visnovsky did not return due to a concussion, and, for a moment, Evgeni Nab0kov looked to be injured on an accidental hit the Isles Matt Carkner, as he came with some speed to prevent a scoring opportunity. The best New York Islander has been Travis Hamonic, playing both sides of the check well, and pinching more that usual. He’s been the offensive thrust for most the game.

Nothing the Islanders did could help them regain footing in this matchup, and what’s worse, a missed check at the ‘Canes’s blueline by Carkner gives Carolina an odd-man rush, and, eventually a 3-goal lead. Frans Nielsen did score the Isles 2nd PP goal of the evening, improving upon that aspect of their special teams. Still, Islanders PP disorganized and apprehensive. Although they would cut the lead down to 1, the Isles failed to pull a full 60:00 and lose the contest 4-3.

New York stays in third place heading into Tuesday’s matchup against the Vancouver Canucks.

Playing the arm-chair coach, EOI suggestions are as follow:

 

DEFENSE

  • Hamonic-MacDonald
  • Visnovsky-Donovan (if Lubo is still injured) — Hickey-Donovan
  • Strait-Hickey (if Lubo is still injured) — Strait-Carkner

OFFENSE

  • Bring up Brock Nelson to center Peter Regin’s current line; Regin to sit out.

 

–RD (@RDNHL)

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