A Much Better Effort, but Still Not Good Enough to Win

By John Panarese

Well, the damage is now 6 in a row.  In Ottawa last night, the Isles lost to the Senators 4-1 with Jason Spezza picking up a point on every goal scored by his team.  For the Islanders, they played a competitive, often dominating game, but only a tally from Matt Moulson was all they had to show for it.  They out shot the Sens 29-27, and out played them throughout most of the game, yet the streak sits at 6 losses in a row.

Nevertheless, the boys must take the positives from the game forward.  It was a far better effort than the previous two games, and they did control the play most of the time.  It’s a matter of building on that effort, getting some goals to restore their confidence and picking up some badly needed points.  That can start tomorrow at home with a rematch against the Flyers.

The one stat that has “bothered” me over this recent stretch in particular is the fact that most of the goals the Isles have scored have come on the power play.  This is certainly a great improvement for sure.  Last season, they were a solid, team 5 on 5, but their power play and penalty killing often did them in.  It has seemed that 5 on 5 play this season has not been as consistent or strong as the past.  Of course, this is my opinion, but the bottom line is we are still just 13 games into the season.  There is plenty of time to get back on track for the Islanders.

As for tomorrow’s game, “revenge” should not be the dish of the day.  To me, the 2 points is far more important than evening any scores.  Would I like to see a little grit and nasty edge from the boys?  Yes, indeed, I do.  I’d like to see them take no guff and have Zenon and Trevor let the Flyers know they are in the lineup.  However, at the end of the day, this losing streak has to stop at 6.  The Islanders have to skate away with a victory far more than gaining retaliation for what was done to Frans Nielsen.