Friday, April 17, 2015

Isles Look For 2-0 Series Advantage

photo by WashingtonPost

Tonight, our Islanders and the Capitals face off in game 2 of their best of 7 first round playoff series with the Islanders looking to jump out to a 2-0 series lead.

The goalie match up tonight features Jaroslav Halak back in net for the Islanders.  Meanwhile, even with his uncertain health, Braden Holtby is expected to get the start for the Capitals.

The Capitals could see one lineup change up front as Tom Wilson was medically cleared to play after missing game one.

The Islanders are expected to ice the same lineup as Wednesday nights win.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Isles Victorious In Game 1 Over Caps

photo by ESPN

Tonight, our Islanders came out and took game one from the Capitals by a score of 4-1.  Here are some of my notes from the game:

-You can't say enough about Brock Nelsons performance tonight, he was outstanding!!  He was reminiscent of the player we saw in the first half of the season.

-Going up against the #1 power play in the NHL, the penalty kill was very good tonight.

-Halak needs to not play the puck anymore.  When he was actually playing goalie he was as good as the Islanders could ask for tonight.  But when playing the puck, he is scary.

-Nelsons former line mates Anders Lee and Ryan Strome also has good performances in their first playoff games.  Strome had the eventual game winning goal in the second period and Lee had an assist on Nelsons empty net goal.  If the three of them can get going that will make the Islanders that much scarier as the playoffs roll on.

-The Islanders played a very disciplined game and let the Caps take penalties which is good to see from a relatively young team in such a big situation.

-They also did a pretty good job defending Alex Ovechkin.  While he had 8 shots, he didn't have many prime time chances.  If they are able to keep this able it will bode well for them going forward.

-I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the good performance from Josh Bailey as well.

You have to expect that the Capitals will come out flying on Friday night.  The Islanders need to make sure they are ready to withstand that.  If they are some way able to come home up 2-0 in the series that will be huge and create an even more unbelievable experience at the Coliseum than there already was going to be.

Next Game: Friday @ Washington

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Isles @ Washington As Playoffs Begin

photo by bopmyspace

Tonight, our Islanders open their first round playoff series as they travel to Washington to take on Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals.

The goalie match up tonight features Jaroslav Halak for the Islanders.  Meanwhile, Braden Holtby will man the crease for Washington.

The Islanders will be without Travis Hamonic who was hurt in the game against the Penguins last Friday.  Exactly how long he will be out is still unknown.  The Islanders lineup up front for tonight has yet to be revealed.  I would expect it to be pretty similar to what we have seen the last few games.  Although, I wouldn't be surprised if at least one of Matt Martin or Frans Nielsen made it back in for tonights contest.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Isles Play Spoiler In Victory Over Penguins

photo by thestar

Tonight, our Islanders defeated the Penguins by a score of 3-1.  Here are some of my notes from the game:

-Given how the Islanders fared through the first half of the game, they were fortunate to be ahead in the contest.  The Penguins outplayed them pretty drastically but they managed to hang in there.  Additionally, they didn't get discouraged after the Penguins late second period goal.

-Halak was on his game tonight and was huge for the Islanders.  It was good to see him respond like this after the blooper reel goal the other night against the Flyers.  Hopefully, he carries this level of play into the playoffs.

-John Tavares came up clutch once again tonight for the Islanders with the go ahead goal in the third period.  He also kept up with Crosby in the race for the NHL lead in scoring.  If he manages to finish at the top he would be the first Islander since Bryan Trottier to lead the NHL in points.

-Impressive goal by Michael Grabner tonight.  Goals like that are why some fans hold out hope for him given his struggles this season.

-If you are not holding your breath waiting to hear how Travis Hamonic is you are better then most.  With his enormous importance to the team, any time he misses, especially with the playoffs right around the corner is huge.

Even though they were outplayed for a majority of the game, the Islanders showed an impressive effort sticking with the Penguins on the way to coming out on top on the scoreboard.  In the process they also played spoiler on the Penguins who have to win in regulation tomorrow in order to have a shot at making the playoffs.

Next Game: Tomorrow vs Columbus (last regular season game at the Coliseum)

Friday, April 10, 2015

Pre Game: Islanders @ Penguins

photo by flickr

Tonight, our Islanders look to snap out of their recent funk as they travel to Pittsburgh to take on the rival Penguins.

The goalie match up tonight features Jaroslav Halak in net for the Islanders.  Meanwhile, Marc Andre Fleury will be between the pipes for the Penguins.

The Penguins will be without 2 key members of their defense tonight as Christian Ehrhoff and Kris Letang will miss tonights contest due to injury.

The Islanders lineup will see one change tonight as Cal Clutterbuck will return to the lineup.  However, both Matt Martin and Frans Nielsen will remain out of the lineup for tonights game.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Isles Fall To Flyers in Shocking End

Tonight, in a pretty poor overall effort, our Islanders fell by a score of 5-4 to the Flyers.  Even with the poor effort they were able to tie the game with under 30 seconds left but couldn't hold on.  Here are some of my notes:

-For a large portion of this game the Islanders were outplayed by the Flyers which can't happen when they are in a race like this team is.

-I don't know what was wrong with Halak tonight but you could tell that he didn't have his "A" game tonight.  That was evident most clearly on the Flyers winning goal that will be filling blooper reels for the next few days.

-What an effort from John Tavares tonight, especially in the third period.  He showed once again why he should be a finalist for MVP again this season.

-After being cold for a few games, great job by Anders Lee tonight as well.  His two goals moved him just 1 behind Mike Hoffman for the league lead in goals by a rookie.  He is definitely earning a long time contract with his impressive first full NHL season.

-The coaching staff needs to do some soul searching to find the cure for what ails this team.

To not be victorious tonight would've been bad in general.  However, to lose like they did tonight is unimaginable and simply unacceptable given where the team is in the standings.  With just two regular season games left the Islanders don't have much time left to get their mojo back before playoffs.

Next Game: Friday @ Pittsburgh

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Pre Game: Islanders @ Flyers

photo by ESPN

Tonight, our Islanders look to solidify their playoff position as they travel to Philadelphia to take on the Flyers.

The goalie match up features Jaroslav Halak for the Islanders.  Meanwhile, Steve Mason is expected to get the nod between the pipes for the Flyers.

The Islanders lineup will look different tonight up front with Matt Martin and Frans Nielsen both missing tonights game.  Taking their spots in the lineup will be Michael Grabner and Colin McDonald.  Much to the chagrin of most fans, Brian Strait is still in the lineup on defense instead of Calvin de Haan.