My apologies, folks, to my inconsistency of late in writing. It has not been because of a lack of interest or any sort of discouragement. It is very tough if you are in business, and I have had some difficult days of late.
Nevertheless, back to Islander topics.
After an impressive win against Buffalo with Ricky back in net on Saturday and JT getting his second hat trick of the season5-3 and a rather disappointing loss to the Devils on Monday afternoon 5-2, the Washington Capitals are next up for them. Ovechkin and company have been playing better hockey of late, though they lost to Philadelphia in overtime last night.
With Nathan Lawson having been sent down to Bridgeport, it appears Kevin Poulin will be backing up DP for the time being. Poulin did not have a great outing against the Devils, but, then again, the Islanders often didn’t play well in front of him, especially in the first period. By the way, what an absolutely horrible call by Bill McCleary and the officials in washing out PA Parenteau’s goal in the second period. I have no idea what in the world the reasoning was, as I was not able to catch a lot of the game on Monday. The bottom line, however, is the Isles were unable to score in the third period, even as they put together a much better effort than earlier in the game.
Along with Lawson, Jesse Joensuu was also returned to the Sound Tigers. It just seems that he cannot play with the kind of impact a guy his size is able to demonstrate. I was really hoping that he would play well enough to stay with the big club, but at this point, I think Jack Capuano is looking for consistency and intensity from the 12 forwards and 6 defensemen that are out on the ice every night.
So, the Islanders will have to play a sound and solid game against the Caps. Defensive break downs are something that can be costly with a team that has the firepower of the Capitals. I would expect Ricky to be between the pipes again, and, hopefully, Frans Nielsen will be ready to play. We need a sixty minute effort from the boys from the opening drop of the puck to the final whistle in the game. Also, taking away the time and space for Ovie to work and preventing him from coming to life is going to have to be the job for all five guys who are out there against him. Yes, perhaps the goals haven’t been coming in bunches as they have in the past for a team as talented as the Capitals, but the important thing for the Isles will be to keep them from finding ways to score.
I would expect the Islanders to come out strong and disciplined. If they can play as well as they did against Buffalo on Saturday, they can beat the Capitals. Then, it’s a trip to western New York for a rematch against the Sabers on Friday.
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