Another Goaltender Down, and Another Loss As Well

By John Panarese

Just when you couldn’t fathom anything else going wrong for the New York Islanders this season, well, something else does happen.  This time, it happened in the pregame warmups, as goaltender, Kevin Poulin, apparently got a skate caught in a rut and injured his left knee.  Thus, Mikko Koskinen got his first NHL start, but, unfortunately, his team’s slow start and several mistakes resulted in a 5-3 loss to the Maple Leafs at the NVMC.

It didn’t help that the Leafs were able to jump out to a 2-0 lead.  Once again, a slow start cost the Isles, as Koskinen simply got no help.  Two first shots of the game on Mikko and two goals, but Matt Moulson got one back with his 19th of the season on the power play before the opening period had ended.  Then, in the second period, Michael Grabner tied the game up with his 17th of the season and he continued to demonstrate his scoring abilities with his 8th goal in something like his last 11 games.

Bad plays and puck turn overs were the story in the first half of the third period.  All of a sudden, the Leafs jumped out to a 5-2 lead, and the Islanders basically hung out Koskinen to dry too many times.  Although Rob Schremp got them to within 2 goals with a goal with about 5 minutes left in the game and Matt Moulson had a goal called back when PA Parenteau was assessed a penalty in the closing seconds of the game, the Islanders fell short.  They played a more inspired last half of that final period for sure, but it wasn’t enough at that point.  It’s unfortunate that Koskinen had to take the loss, as he did make some really big saves throughout the second and parts of the third period.

Joel Martin was literally called up on emergency loan from Bridgeport and arrived at the game jus in time to sit on the bench during the third period to backup Koskinen.  Nathan Lawson is skating, but it is not clear as to whether or not he will be ready to backup Mikko Koskinen on Thursday when the Isles travel up to Montreal.  Additionally, the exact nature of Poulin’s injury remains to be seen.  Yeah, you can’t keep falling back on injuries as “excuses” for losses, but, come on now, this is just getting ridiculous.

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