Top Shelf : Islanders Daily : 5/6/2013


May 5, 2013; Uniondale, NY, USA; New York Islanders goalie

Evgeni Nabokov

(20) misses the save on a shot by Pittsburgh Penguins left wing

Chris Kunitz

(not pictured) in overtime in game three of the first round of the 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Pittsburgh won 5-4. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Middletown, N. J. – In the Stanley Cup playoffs, nobody often remembers a blown call, a missed shot or a flubbed save. All that really matters is what is on the scoreboard when the dust settles and the clock reaches zero.

Putting all the extra-curricular aside, the Isles showed tons of heart and determination yesterday and a willingness to enter into the upper echelon on teams in the National Hockey League but just committed too many defensive mistakes in their 5-4 overtime loss to the Penguins.

Penalties, the inability to kill them and poor defensive zone coverage all come back and find a way to hurt at this time of the year and the young, inexperienced Isles are learning valuable lessons in their journey that will benefit them down the road. John Tavares, for 60 minutes, has to be better ; Mark Streit, as captain and leader, has to be better ; and Evgeni Nabokov, with 80 games of playoff experience coming into this series, has to be better. Line changes have to be smooth, shots true and sacrifices made to succeed.

These are the things that will improve over time for the Islanders and I am certain we will see improvements as soon as tomorrow night for game four, as New York faces yet another monumental ‘must-win’ game. The urgency that is needed to send the series back to Pittsburgh 2-2 is something that every player lucky enough to dress for the game must sense and respond to. There is just no other option.


Floating Around The Twitter-Sphere

  • Great observation Carole : The mistakes were there, let’s not kid ourselves. We played anything but a perfect game, especially defensively. But the Isles have shown resilencey all season and they can rely on that heading into game four.
  • EJ giving credit where credit is due : The Islanders are VERY relevant in the NHL landscape now and will be for a long time. These kids are just learning what it takes. It does not happen overnight.
  • Keep up the faith, as Brian points out. Don’t give up and don’t ever stop being as loud as you were yesterday. Outstanding performance by the home fans.
  • There is nothing I would have wanted more than to have been there myself to experience it first hand. But I can only imagine, because it sounded extremely out of control on TV. The crowd at times drowned out the announcers easily.

Around The NHL

  • I did not get a chance to catch the entire Ottawa-Montreal game but seeing the last half of the third period, I witnessed a melt-down of epic proportions by the Habs and some downright disgusting, despicable play.  Running around trying to injure and taking pot shots at just about anyone who thought about touching the puck for Ottawa. Fans incensed about Paul McLean calling timeout with a minute to go, up 6-1 and going on the power play, were unjustified, as he was just instructing his team to line up 4 at the blue line and not pressure off the faceoff.
  • Minnesota stunned the  Blackhawks in their first home playoff game, 3-2 in overtime. Just a bump in the road for the team that many feel is the best in the league. Corey Crawford gave up all 3 goals in EXACTLY the same spot. Scouting anyone?
  • San Jose put the clamps on the Canucks in Vancouver, 5-2 running out to a 3-0 lead in their Western conference series. The Canucks are destined for the golf course early once again and just cannot seem to find any magic in the post-season.

Another lost tooth…..this is becoming somewhat of an epidemic. HaHa

Scapping in Ottawa….this would lead to each team having only about 6 players on the bench for the latter part of the third period.

Horrible angle for the OT winner in Minnesota…

Thanks for the read, have a great start to your week and keep it right here at EyesOnIsles as we begin preparations for tomorrow night’s game four at the Coliseum.

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