It was sweet to get the 2 points on Saturday…
The Isles had such a strong game, and Al Montoya was absolutely solid. The goal he let up was one that should not have gotten to him. Mark Streit had a bad break out pass, which turned into the goal.
However, it was our shootout specialist making his patented chance work. Even though it HAS to be known that Frans Nielsen is going to take that backhand deke, he is running at almost a 60% success rate on the shootout.
It was an important two points that kept them out of the cellar of the Eastern Conference.
Now – it is onto Winnipeg; a homecoming for Travis Hamonic, the Manitoba born defenseman. I am sure he is as giddy about playing at home, as was Kyle Okposo. However, with the NHL such a ‘boom’ for the city, I am wondering how hard it is going to be for him to get tickets for his family.
Speaking of Winnipeg, I am so glad that they got their hockey back. (NHL that is). Their fans are so passionate, and knowledgeable, and it showed when the drop of the puck came on their first home game. The crowd basically stood up for the entire night. And though they lost that game, they were so proud of their boys.
It was interesting when the Phoenix Coyotes, the hated team that took their original Jets away came into town. Although they gave an ovation to Shane Doan, the last remaining Jet to be playing in Phoenix, they booed every time a Coyote touched the puck. It was brilliant.
But never mind on Winnipeg, they are the opponent. For the Isles to be successful against the Jets, they need to take heed of Dustin Byfuglien, the mammoth defenseman that can move up and be a shooting risk quite easily. Evander Kane, the young star in the making, is developing into a nice player, and can be quite dangerous. The Isles used to do well against the Thras… Jets when they were the road team in Atlanta. Now, it is a lot colder, and lot better ice surface for the Isles. Let’s see if they can recapture the glory, and get two wins in a row on the road, before they head to the Garden for the first Isles-Rangers game in Manhattan.
As far as the Islanders are concerned, I think Mark Streit needs to get his game back. I know that it is not just me, but for the last 5 games or so, he has been probably the 5 or 6 defenseman as far as performance has been concerned. He has been at times unsturdy in his skates, his first passes have not been crisp and his positioning has been sluggish. There are times that when a player has been out for such a long period of time, their game tends to fade after a few dozen games. I think it is almost similar to a marathoner hitting “THE WALL”. He needs to maybe take a step back, and reinforce his game, and just go back to the basics for a touch. He is a true professional that will get his game back for sure.
It was great to see Andrew MacDonald come back and get a goal against the Wild in his return. I think he wants to play Minnesota every game.
Would think that maybe we will see Montoya on Tuesday, and Thursday against the Rangers, with Evgeni Nabokov returning to the nets on Friday against the Leafs.
Stay warm Islanders… It is mighty cold up there.
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