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In the last two weeks, the Islanders have an unfortunate record of 2-5-0. The Islanders have also not won a home game since December 6th. Who is to blame? Is it head coach Jack Capuano? Is it the players themselves? It’s time to make moves and make something happen, losing this far in to the season shows no playoff hope for this struggling team.
The Islanders lost to the Penguins at home on December 10th as reported on the 12th, but the losing streak ended at three. The Islanders fell to the Montreal Canadiens 5-3 and the Dallas Stars 3-2. These are two teams that the Islanders have previously beat already this season. The inconsistency on the ice is killing this young hockey team.
The Islanders traveled to Minnesota to take on the Wild who sits on the top of the standings. The Islanders have beaten them this season already but the Wild are looking red hot. The Islanders defeated the top caliber team in a shoot out with a Frans Nielsen signature back hand. This leads us to the Islanders first trip to Winnipeg since March 9th 1996. Both teams look strong as they struggled to gain the upper hand. The lamp was lit in the first period by PA Parenteau for the Isles and Nik Antropov for the Jets. The second period goals were Michael Grabner for the Isles and Andrew Ladd for the Jets. The third period went scoreless as the shoot out became key once again.
Now during this game, Al Montoya was hit which resulted to a concussion and Evgeni Nabakov entering the game. Once again the stick of Frans Nielsen was hot and the back hand went to work. The Islanders won their second straight game via the shoot out.
The celebration came to a halt on Coliseum ice the next night as the Islanders lost to the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-3. The Leafs looked faster, stronger and more put together than the young Islander team. The score was 3-0 before the first period hit the twelve minute mark. Kyle Okposo cut the deficit to 3-1 to end the period. The second period was no different as Frans Nielsen scored on a power play. This goal was bittersweet as the next goal was a short hander from Joey Crabb of the Maple Leafs. John Tavares netted a wrist shot in the third to make the game 4-3 Leafs. Once again pulling the goalie doesn’t work as the empty netter was scored by Joffery Lupol.
The Islanders played two games at the Garden in their last three games and the out come was relatively the same. The Rangers are gearing up for the Winter Classic and taking no prisoners in their climb to the top. The first game was a defensive battle full of penalties and scuffles. Matt Martin dropped the gloves with Stu Bickel to try to spark his team. The empty netter was scored and the Islanders fell to their cross town rivals 4-2.
The chance for revenge came Monday night as the Islanders traveled back to the Garden. Carl Hagelin scored twice to put the Broadway Blue Shirts up 2-0. Once again the goalie was pulled and the score was than 3-0 on a Marian Gaborik goal. Scoring for the Islanders was… well no one. The Islanders were blanked and embarrassed at the Garden. Looking at these two teams, the Rangers look like a top caliber team who are strong and fast, the Islanders look like a bunch of kids playing a house league.
As of today the Lines are changed for their match up with the Calgary Flames Thursday night. Moulson-Tavares-Okposo; Rolston-Nielsen-Parenteau; Grabner-Bailey-Niederreiter, Pandolfo; Martin-Reasoner-Wallace. Hopefully these changes spark the Islanders team and we see some wins.