There is an old expression, which was used in the movie, “300”, which goes, “come home with your shield, or on it.”
The New York Islanders, unfortunately, are coming home on their collective shields. This was not the road trip that we hoped we would have. One point out of a possible 6, and, last night, the worse performance of the 3 out west. No, the west coast swing was not what the doctor ordered for the Isles.
Last night, Rob Schremp provided the Islanders with their only offense in the first period, but at that point, the boys were already down 2-0 with the Kings having scored two goals in the first 5 minutes of the game, both tallies coming from Anze Kopitar. To their credit, the Isles did play well throughout the first and second periods, and they were only trailing 3-1 going into the third. However, there was no desperate effort to tie the game, and while being out shot 13 to 3, by the Kings in that period, Dustin Brown scored on a penalty shot and then Drew Doughty put the final nail in the proverbial coffin with a power play goal to complete the 5-1 victory for the Kings.
So, now the Isles come home. Finally, they will get some badly needed “home cooking”, which starts against the Lightning on Wednesday. Again, one cannot “blame” the goaltending, as Dwayne Roloson can only do so much. There have been plenty of defensive lapses that have been costly in games, and, of course, a lack of scoring has been the big problem.
What the boys need is offense. Somehow, they have to pull together and find some collective and individual confidence. These things do happen in hockey, and as a team sport in the highest sense of the term, it is going to require a team effort to turn this thing around. The Islanders had 19 total shots on net against the Kings, and this stat is not going to do it for them. They need to fire everything on net and they need to pick up goals in every way possible. I am stubbornly still not going to use the term “serious desperation”, but I think it’s time the boys start playing with that emotion in the mix.
Hopefully, we will be getting back Andrew MacDonald and Milan Jurcina in the next few weeks to help the defense. Additionally, perhaps Kyle Okposo can give us an early Christmas present by returning to the lineup in December. One does not want to hang ones “hopes” on guys rejoining the lineup, as we have to win with what we have. Still, it will be comforting to know that help is not far from arriving just the same. As an Islander fan, I am not at all giving up on the boys, and neither should you.
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