NY Islanders News

Time to take the Catnip away from the Panthers tonight

By Gary Harding

Is it just me, or do the Panthers seem to have their way of the Isles lately?  They have spring to their step, and give the Isles fits!

I feel like I am Andy Rooney, podering the obvious.

After the great finish for the Isles on Saturday, it is time to take that good feeling, and parlay it into a 60 minute win tonight.  What do they have to do?

1.  Get the 3rd period aggressiveness going on.  Even though the team was outshot badly in the third stanza, it looked like the boys were trying to up-tempo their game.  They need to do that, but get shots on Voukon.  He can be a catalyst to the Panthers, but you need to crash into him, and then when they think you are done, crash some more.  Establish the forecheck, dig into the corners, and watch out for the speed skaters that they have.

2.  Get moving on even strength.  Only a few goals in the last 4 games on 5-5, the Isles need to make some chances on the net, and get the feet moving.

3.  Keep Rollie in.  Although I do like Marty, Dwayne Roloson has been the ‘hot man’ – and you need to keep that going.  Or – do you put Marty in tonight, and play Rollie in both Ranger games this weekend.  Interesting dilemma for Flash and the coaches to ponder.

4.  Keep JT rolling.  The NHL network had a lot of nice things to say about the Islanders, and especially #91 over the last few days.  His confidence has to be soaring now – so keep it going…  If you did not catch his interview on NHL on the Fly, he was honest, and to the point on his effort, and I like the fact, that they (NHL Net) are mentioning him in the upper echelon in the PP category.  Would you expect that from a 19 old?  Crosby got it – but Pittsburgh is a ‘NHL cool’ place, as opposed to Uniondale.  That WILL change.

With the upcoming home and home with the Blueshirts, the team still have to keep a focus on THIS game.  It will not be a cake walk; it never is when the Isles play Florida.  But if they keep their efforts and play THEIR game, as Herbie says, then a 2 point increase can be on their point total.

Oh – looking at the standings again – it seems that we are ahead of that team on 33rd street again.  It feels nice, doesn’t it?

OK Isles – get back to basics, get the W from the kitty cats, and move on!