Mar 7, 2014; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; New York Islanders center Brock Nelson (29) celebrates his goal with teammates against the Calgary Flames during the second period at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Top Shelf – Islanders Daily 3/10/14


Mar 7, 2014; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; New York Islanders head coach Jack Capuano on his bench against the Calgary Flames during the third period at Scotiabank Saddledome. Calgary Flames won 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

“Don’t worry about the score. Don’t worry about it, don’t think about it, just continue to play.” Those are the words that New York Islanders head coach Jack Capuano had on Sunday for his players, who have blown late two-goal leads in each of their last two games, and the fourteenth time this season. For the twelfth time in those games, the Islanders failed to win.

That’s approximately (not accounting OT games) twenty-four points gone. Twenty-four points.

When you read that statistic, it’s almost unbelievable. If the Islanders were able to close 50% of those hockey games, they would be sitting two points out of a playoff spot right now; 75% of those games, and they would be sitting in second-place in the Metropolitan Division.

It’s a case of “so close, yet so far,” as the Islanders are seemingly ten minutes away from two points any given night until they collapse. It’s almost a reason for optimism because they’re right there; however, close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades, and not Islanders’ games, unfortunately.

The team’s goal for the remainder of the season should be to hold on to their leads.  If the Isles can learn how to finish, then the trajectory for next season can start looking up for Long Island’s hockey team.

The Islanders have a chance to start tonight, as they finish up their four-game road trip against the struggling Vancouver Canucks.

In case you missed it:

Around the NHL:

  • New York Rangers 3, Detroit Red Wings 0: NYR (Boyle, Kreider [2]) – Chris Kreider scored two goals for the Rangers, and Henrik Lundqvist earned his third shutout of the season for his 300th career win.
  • Boston Bruins 5, Florida Panthers 2: BOS (Mezaros, Krug, Bergeron, Iginla, Kelly), FLA (Hayes [2]) – It was Tim Thomas bobble-head day in Florida, but Thomas is no longer present. Roberto Luongo made 37 saves, but Boston scored four third period goals to take the two points.
  • Chicago Blackhawks 2, Buffalo Sabres 1: CHI (Kane, Toews), BUF (Stafford) – Patrick Kane, a Buffalo native, opened the scoring in his homecoming, and Jonathan Toews broke a 1-1 tie early in the third period.
  • Los Angeles Kings 4, Edmonton Oilers 2: LAK (Carter [2], Martinez, Lewis), EDM (Hall, Gagner) – Jeff Carter scored two goals without having to shoot the puck. Ben Scrivens faced the Kings for the first time since being traded in Janaury. He made 46 saves in the loss.
  • St. Louis Blues 3, Minnesota Wild 2 SO: STL (Oshie, Colaiacovo), MIN (Pominville, Moulson) – T.J. Oshie (who else) scored the shootout winner, his fourth of the season. Matt Moulson scored his first goal as a member of the Wild, and Ilya Bryzgalov allowed the first two shots he faced in his Minnesota debut.

Across the Sound:

The Bridgeport Sound Tigers did not play on Sunday, but their 3-2 OT defeat on Saturday was their fourth-consecutive loss. Bridgeport is 12 points out of a playoff spot.

-CT (@ChrisTriants)

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