Tonight, our Islanders once again failed to play a 60 minute game and it resulted in a 3-2 loss to the rival Rangers. Here are some of my notes from the game:
-The Islanders play in their own zone is a mess. Brent Thompson needs to get to work and earn his paycheck because it can be argued that we aren't even playing defense right now. Matt Carkner is literally a liability every time he's on the ice and when the puck goes near him it is literally cringe worthy. Meanwhile, Andrew MacDonald continues to be atrocious. I don't know what happened to him but for some reason he is just a shell of his former self which is leaving the Islanders in a really rough spot because it is pretty much Travis Hamonic and then everyone else.
-The Islanders breakout and transition were also terrible. They couldn't control the puck and have a clean breakout, they often went for clears that would intercepted by the Rangers or skating the puck out and having it get stolen at the line. They also let Rangers forwards skate right into the zone without putting any pressure at all on them which doesn't seem like a smart play to me. The transition is supposed to be a key aspect to our offense. You know if that isn't working then we are having major issues.
-The team needs to play with more care for the puck. The amount of turnovers we had tonight was just unacceptable!! There were times when we were just serving it right up for the Rangers which just boggles your mind.
-Good to see Cal Clutterbuck finally put one to the back of the net.
-Can't really blame any goal tonight on Nabokov. The first two resulted from the team not playing any defense as alluded to in my first point. The third one appeared to be tipped in front by one of his own defensemen. The numbers won't really reflect but Nabokov was pretty solid tonight.
-Once again the team failed to play a 60 minute game and hold a third period lead. The conversation with the people I was with during the second intermission wasn't one that reflected confidence in the teams ability to hold the lead but was one where we were guessing how long it would take for us to give it up. You may say that is a bad attitude to have. However, after so many years now of dealing with the same thing we have sort of become conditioned to that line of thinking.
-The officials are terribly inconsistent as well. Letting hooks on Tavares and Grabner go and that two many men call in the third just off the top of my head. That to many men call was after they didn't call it on the Rangers in the first period. The refs don't have to be good, but they should be consistent and tonight the refs failed at that.
Tonight was yet another disappointing effort from the team in a winnable game. For a team that is fighting to be on the playoff bubble come April efforts like this aren't encouraging because every point counts. As nice as wins against the Penguins are last week, losses like this one and to the Flyers on Saturday hurt even more. Some may say to look at the coaching to find the root of the teams troubles. However, the team had similar issues under the previous coaching regime with Scott Gordon so I am not sure that coaching is the issue here.
Next Game: Friday 11/1/13 @ Ottawa 7:30PM