Tonight, our Islanders had their season opening four game winning streak stopped as they fell 3-1 to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Here are some of my notes from the game:
-After being a tremendous bright spot in the first four games of the season, the power play was terrible tonight. Not only did they not get many chances at all, they struggled at even getting in the zone. As Butch Goring would say, they were thinking way to much and were very methodical.
-Halak had another solid game, can't fault him for either goal.
-The team needs to do a better job clearing the crease. This is two games in a row now that Halak gave up a goal because someone was planted in front of him and not being pressured or forced to fight for the space at all.
-Nice setup on Hickeys goal!
-Bad call on Hamonic! I have seen much worse then that done without an instigator being called. I wonder if they were playing the Sharks tonight if that is still called an instigator. Good for Hamonic standing up for Nielsen on what was definitely a questionable hit for multiple reasons by Downie.
-While the Islanders did get plenty of chances on the power play tonight, two non calls near the end of the second period really blew my mind. How Crosby gets nothing for running into Halak is beyond me. Are the refs only allowed to give Crosby one penalty per game? Then a little bit after that a Penguins defenseman mugged Cal Clutterbuck in the corner without something being called as well.
While the Islanders were bound to lose a game, to lose like this really hurts. This is a game that easily could've been won if the entire team showed up rather than just Halak. How they respond to this loss will be key in evaluating the team going forward.
Next Game: Tuesday @ Home Vs Toronto