Apr 4, 2013; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Capitals goalie Braden Holtby (70) makes a save on New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) during a shootout at Verizon Center. The Capitals won 2-1 in a shootout. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Top Shelf - Islanders Daily 12/2/13

It could be time for Ryan Strome to make his NHL debut. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

The Islanders haven’t won a hockey game in sixteen days. They earned their first point since their last win on Saturday night – a loser point in a depressing 3-2 overtime defeat to the Capitals – and have held one lead in their last six games – one they held for 1:02 on Saturday, the last of the aforementioned games, before allowing a tying, then game-winning goal on home ice.

On this second day without Islanders hockey, we saw Long Island’s hockey team slipping in the standings. A promising season has become another disaster before December yet again; however, the Metropolitan Division’s woes have kept the Islanders within four games of a playoff spot, which means we, as fans, have to focus on the positives, and we, the team, have to focus on turning it around. Now.

November has ended. The Islanders have once again stumbled out of their worst month of memory, but their season is not over. Some may have began digging a grave, but the Islanders remain alive. Many points have slipped away – points that good hockey teams would have never allowed leave their grasp – but there are still 110 points left for this team to grab. Is it possible the Islanders grab enough to reach the postseason for the second consecutive season? Not with the way this team has played, yet I’m not convinced we have seen the best this team has to offer.

Pittsburgh comes into town for the first since Game Six of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals tomorrow. Let’s begin December on the right note.

In case you missed it:

The right reasons it cold be time for change. (EOI)

Joe Powers explains why John Tavares deserves the Hart. (EOI)

According to Bruce Garrioch, the Islanders could be after Ryan Miller. (Ottawa Sun)

Isles “other” first-rounder de Haan wants to stick around. (ProHockeyTalk)

The Islanders Must Recall Ryan Strome. (Isles Op-Timism)

Around the NHL:

Vancouver Canucks 3, Carolina Hurricanes 2: VAN (Kesler [2], Sestito), CAR (J. Staal, Gerbe) –The Hurricanes erased an early 2-0 deficit by scoring two goals in the second period’s first 49 seconds, but Ryan Kesler would score his 2nd of the game 1:16 into the middle frame, earning the win for Eddie Lack and the Canucks.

Detroit Red Wings 4, Ottawa Senators 2: DET (Franzen, Miller [2], Alfredsson), OTT (MacArthur, Zibanejad) – Daniel Alfredsson recorded a goal and an assist in his return to Ottawa, as the Red Wings moved into second place in the Atlantic Division.

Edmonton Oilers 3, Dallas Stars 2 (SO): EDM (Hemsky, Ference), DAL (Garbutt [2]) – Andrew Ference scored the tying goal with 5:07 remaining in the third, and David Perron’s shootout goal gave the Oilers the victory. Ilya Bryzgalov left the game with a head injury, but Devan Dubnyk stopped 15-of-16 shots in 28:41 of relief.

Across the Sound:

Yesterday afternoon, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers defeated the Manchester Monarchs by the score of 3-2. Mike Halmo recorded his 8th of the season for the Tigers’ first tally of the game, and Ryan Strome scored the game-tying goal and set-up the game-winning goal in the third period. The two points push the Islanders 2011 first-round pick into a tie for third-place in the AHL’s scoring race. With the Islanders recent struggles, the centre is certainly making a case to join the big team.

-CT

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