Top Shelf – Islanders Daily 2/3/14


Feb 2, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) has the ball knocked from his hand in the closing minutes of Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Last night, the Seattle Seahawks, boasting the NFL’s top-ranked D, defeated the Denver Broncos, boasting the NFL’s top-ranked offense, by the score of 43-8 in Super Bowl XLVIII. Peyton Manning, one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game, completed a Super Bowl record 34 passes, but managed to throw two game-changing interceptions and lose one fumble to Seattle’s relentless defensive unit.

The lesson learned: the most prolific offenses will find ways to struggle against top defenses. Defense wins championships.

Take note, New York Islanders.

With arguably the best offensive line in the NHL right now, the Islanders find themselves on a five-game winless streak. Although they’re capable of scoring over three goals on any given night, the team has no line of defense when the offense falters. With 25 games to go in the 2013-14 season, the Islanders (191 goals against) have allowed fewer goals than only the Edmonton Oilers (194 goals), and that statistic will continue to hinder the Isles progress until it gets fixed.

Friendly reminder: the Islanders last two drafts have focused on the team’s defensive woes. Griffin Reinhart and Ryan Pulock, along with Scott Mayfield and Andrey Pedan, are expected to anchor a defensive unit that has been underwhelming over the past several years; however, it should be noted that their time is not yet. Close, but not yet.

It should be interesting to see how the Isles try to address this issue going forward, especially with the trade deadline approaching. While it’s not easy to add defensemen from the Isles current position at this current time, perhaps the Islanders will add another defensive piece or two that can help the Isles in the long-term.

Let’s see.

As Seattle showed last night, defense should be the focus for any championship-bound team.

In case you missed it:

Did the Islanders make the wrong decision by demoting Ryan Strome? (Isles Op-Timism)

Breaking down the Islanders woeful penalty-kill unit, (IPB)

An IslesTunes Playlist. (Lighthouse Hockey)

Around the NHL:

Washington Capitals 6, Detroit Red Wings 5 OT: WSH (Chimera, Ward [2], Carlson, Brouwer, Ovechkin), DET (Nyquist [3], Tatar, Abdelkader) – In a wild back-and-forth game, Alexander Ovechkin recorded his 39th goal of the season in overtime to lead the Capitals to victory. Gustav Nyquist recorded his first career hat trick for the Red Wings.

Winnipeg Jets 2, Montreal Canadiens 1: WPG (Enstrom, Frolik), MTL (Gionta) – Al Montoya stopped 30 shots, and Michael Frolik broke a 1-1 tie just over a minute into the third period, as the Jets earned two points.

Across the Sound:

The Bridgeport Sound Tigers were off last night. They sit 12th in the Eastern Conference, 11 points behind the 8th-seed Hershey Bears

-CT (@christriants)