Monday, March 30, 2015

Offensive Explosion Powers Isles To Victory

photo by zimbio

This evening, our Islanders defeated the Detroit Red Wings by a score of 5-4.  Here are some of my notes from the game:

-The power play finally woke up today with 3 power play goals and it was much needed.  The Islanders need them to go back to playing the game that had them in the top 10-12 in the league for a majority of the season before their recent dry spell.  Especially with the playoffs looming, we saw 2 years ago how key special teams are in the playoffs.

-While Halak didn't have his "A" game today, it was nice that the team was able to pick him up like he has done for them countless times this season.

-Given his second half struggles, good to see Brock Nelson put one to the back of the net.  It will be perfect timing for the Islanders if Nelson can get some of his mojo back heading into the playoffs.

-Excellent job by Clutterbuck creating the turnover on his game winner and the nice move to finish it off.  Clutterbuck was definitely on his game today especially with Wings forward Justin Abdelkader who Clutterbuck pushed into the bench at one point during the game.

The term "that game had everything" can definitely be applied to this contest.  Almost anything that can happen at a hockey game happened at this game today except for a fight.  Given the Islanders struggles recently, seeing them fight back fast from the early deficit and then continue to pile on the goals was definitely a welcomed sight.  Hopefully, this game signaled the end of their bad streak as they prepare for the playoffs and making a run at the Stanley Cup.

Next Game: Thursday 7:00 @ Columbus

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Isles Struggles Continue In Loss To Ducks

This afternoon, our Islanders dropped their 7th straight home game as they fell by a score of 3-2 to the Ducks.  Here are some of my notes from the game:

-As much as you may want to, you really can't blame the loss on Michal Neuvirth.  While he didn't have a great game, none of the goals were really his fault.

-The power play struggles continued in spades tonight.  I don't know what it is but they really can't find the back of the net right now.  I was stunned that either Tavares or Strome didn't have a goal on the 5-3.  Strome had a perfect opportunity but waited too long allowing Andersen to get back into position to make a save.

-Leddy needs to be stronger in front of the net then he was on the Ducks second goal.  He got out muscled way to easily and it came back to haunt them.

-Good to see Visnovsky put one to the back of the net in his return to the lineup.

I don't know what needs to be done, but something has to in order to snap this team out of this funk they are in.  This is a later version of the November to forget that they traditionally go through.

Next Game; Tomorrow 5:00 vs Detroit

Pre Game: Ducks @ Islanders

This afternoon, our New York Islanders look to snap out of their recent home funk as they play host to Ryan Getzlaf and the Anaheim Ducks.

The goalie match up today features Frederik Andersen likely in net for the Ducks.  Meanwhile, Michael Neuvirth will start the front end of the back to back for the Islanders.

The Islanders lineup will see one change today as Lubomir Visnovsky returns to the lineup.  To make room for him, Calvin de Haan will be a healthy scratch for the second time in the last week.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Delays Ahead For Ratner Coliseum Proposal?

I know that when you see a headline like that you immediately assume that politics are once again rearing their ugly head on the area known as "The Hub."  However, this time you would be incorrect, according to a report from the Long Island Business News.

LIBN is reporting that a disagreement between Bruce Ratners Forest City Ratner and Ed Blumenfelds Blumenfeld Development Group could end up in court and delay the process of developing this land indefinitely.  It is being reported that the disagreement is over the scope of retail and entertainment that will be part of the project.

In July 2013, it was announced that Blumenfeld had joined Ratners proposal after his own was eliminated by Nassau County executive Ed Mangano.  This was one month before Mangano chose Ratners proposal as the one for the property over a competing proposal from rival MSG and James Dolan.

If something like this happening surprises you then you haven't been paying much attention over the years.  While I am surprised that politics isn't playing a role in this, the fact that there are delays should be expected.  Unless this dispute gets settled in a timely manner, events booked for the Coliseum that were announced last week may have been announced prematurely.

Offensive Woes Continue In Isles Loss To Kings

Tonight, our Islanders fell by a score of 3-2 to the defending Champion LA Kings.  Here are some of my notes from the game:

-One of the few bright spots tonight was the play of Jaroslav Halak.  While he did give up 3 goals, none of them were his fault.  They all came with tricky bounces or due to poor play in front of him and you can only expect the goalie to bail you out so often.

-The teams overall play was very sloppy tonight, mis read passes and weak clearing attempts highlighted the night.  The shift by the John Tavares line on the Kings third goal captured this perfectly as they had multiple opportunities to clear but were unable to each time and it ended up coming back to haunt them.

-While I have been critical and rightly so of the penalty kill this season, they had a very impressive 5-3 kill in the second period tonight.  They appear that they are hitting their stride now and it couldn't come at a better time with playoffs right around the corner.

-Anders Lee can't buy a goal right now!  After having multiple opportunities the other night against the Wild, he had another great opportunity tonight but was robbed by Jonathan Quick on a great save.  If he continues to be in the right place at the right time they will start going in for him again.

The Kings tonight showed the Islanders a little bit of what they aspire to be.  The Islanders didn't play well tonight and yet they still had an opportunity to win the game.  However, they didn't as the veteran Kings team knowing there playoff lives are on the line each game never took the pedal off the medal and came out victorious.  Hopefully, the Islanders learned something from the Kings performance tonight because it could be beneficial to them once the playoffs start.

Next Game: Saturday @ 1:00 Vs the Ducks

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Pre Game: Kings @ Islanders

Tonight, our Islanders continue their tough home stand as they play host to the defending Stanley Cup Champion LA Kings.

The goalie match up tonight features Jonathan Quick in net for the Kings.  Meanwhile, Jaroslav Halak will make his 3rd straight start for the Islanders.

The Islanders lineup will be the same tonight as Tuesdays loss to the Wild.

Isles Sign College Goalie Motte to AHL Deal

According to reports, earlier today, the Islanders announced that they had signed college free agent goalie CJ Motte to an AHL contract.

Motte, from Ferris State had a 2.07 GAA and a .922 save percentage this season, his senior year.  In 2013/2014 Motte was a finalist for the Hoby Baker Award which is given to the top college hockey player in the country.

Motte will be sent right to Bridgeport and form a goalie tandem with Kevin Poulin for the remainder of the season, multiple outlets are reporting.

Motte seems to have been pretty consistent while in college so at the very least this could provide the Islanders some additional depth in net given the uncertainty of their back up position after this season.