Hockey From The Blind Side, Penguins Beat The Islanders,…. Or Was it Sid Beat the Islanders?
By John Panarese
I had the temptation just to paste in my post here that I wrote after the Boston game and simply change, Bruins, to Penguins. For all intents and purposes, it was like living through the same game.
Everything the Islanders needed to do to make a statement or “right the ship” did not happen. Everything they could have done to make matters worse was done by them. Everything that Islander country hope would happen did NOT occur.
As far as I am concerned, a recap isn’t even necessary or worth it. Sidney Crosby was the story, and deservedly so. A 2 goal game with 2 assists basically resulted in him single-handedly defeating the Islanders on his own. It was 2-0 by the end of the 1st period and then 4-0 by the conclusion of the 2nd frame. It was, overall, painfully obvious that very little good was going to come the Islanders way.
I truly felt bad for Anders Nilsson. The guy deserved a much better appearance in net than he had. He made 30 saves, and some of them were quite outstanding. Basically, it was another of those instances where a lawsuit for lack of support could have been filed. There was little to no energy and that nasty taste left I’m mouth after Saturday night’s game was only increased.
What next? I wish I had some kind of suggestion to offer. All I do know is that changes have to be made and something has to give before this spirals into a repeat of last season. The door on the playoff picture isn’t shut for the Islanders yet, but it could very easily become a case of it being over by Christmas again. This is something that plainly CANNOT be allowed to happen two years in a row.
Is it a case of the team not responding to the coach? Did the Isles lose the players who meant the most in regard to leadership presence during the off season? Is it a matter of this team being unable to respond well to pressure? Does Garth Snow have to make a “statement” trade of some kind or truly shake up the lineup in some demonstrative manner?
Once again, I have no idea. I don’t know if anyone has a viable answer. Sure, there are plenty of opinions out there, but everyone has opinions and opinions are like ….. you know the famous Clint Eastwood (Dirty Harry) line ….
The Islanders placed Mark Eaton on IR today and Micheal Haley was recalled from Bridgeport. I would expect him to be inserted into the lineup against the Flyers tomorrow, but how much that will help remains to be seen. If anything, there will be a guy who plays with fire and who will raise the energy level each shift. Maybe, he’ll even get into a scrap to make the evening entertaining as well …
Not to sound like a broken record, but things have to change. Something has to give. Basically, everything I stated in my post about the Bruin game can be reiterated here.
As far as I am concerned, it’s not going to take a single guy. No, it has to be a team mindset change and a collective effort that runs through the entire lineup. One guy might provide some hope and be a “positive” in the storyline afterwards, but success and effort are only going to come from a team output. Somehow, some way, Jack Capuano has to get through to these guys or someone in the locker room has to stand up and drive that point home to his teammates.
As I am a positive person and I try to see the “bright side” of Islander matters, let’s just chalk up last night to the Crosby wave. One almost could have written the story that unfolded last night as far as Sid returning and being …. Sid. So, boys, tomorrow is another game.
Tomorrow night is back in front of a home crowd, but it doesn’t get any easier. No, I’m not going to dig up how many games in a row the Flyers have beaten the Islanders or how few wins the Isles have had against the Flyers in the last X seasons. It’s simply time to put the last two games behind them. One shift at a time, one period at a time. They have done it before, and I have no doubts that they can do it again. The talent is there, and we just need the effort and confidence to return once more.
Finally, I’d like to take the opportunity to wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving from Eyes on Isles. I don’t think I’ll be able to write until the weekend, so to our readers, have a safe and, to borrow a phrase from Gary, have a hockey day. Remember that there is more to the day than football games being played on Thursday. Be thankful for all the blessings in your life and take the time to appreciate the family and friends you may be around you.
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