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A blog by a long time New York Islanders fan who stays true to the fellas wearing orange, white and blue…but thinks the Islanders organization has some shaping up to do.

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Try not. Do...or do not.


Sunday, March 2, 2008

Along With DiPietro, Intensity and Goals Missing From Isles' Game

Islanders 0 : Panthers 1

Don't let this title fool you.

In relief, Wade Dubielewicz put forward a solid effort with 29 saves, but the only one he allowed would be all the Panthers needed, as yet again, the Islanders would come up short, even though they would take 53 shots on goal, all of which the goalie on the other end, Florida's Craig Anderson, would stop, in an anticlimactic ending to a great afternoon for the Isles.

Today was the Core of the Four ceremony, and after the 17 men who were part of the dynasty came forth yet again to embrace the crowd, the current Islanders skated out for warmups wearing their numbers- Richard Park in Lorne Henning's #10 (identical to his own), Wade Dubielewicz in Billy Smith's #31 jersey, and recently returned Brendan Witt representing #91, Butch Goring. Here's a picture link- http://islanders.nhl.com/team/app/?service=page&page=MediaGalleryPlayer&galleryId=5162 to see the awesome show of respect by the current team.

As for the on-ice product, even with the emotion of the simple ceremony, there was chance, but hardly any intensity to be seen out of the team, as they threw a barrage of shots over the three periods, and had good chances, especially some by the Kid Line of Tambellini, Jeremy Colliton, and Blake Comeau. However, it became clear by the end of the game that there were plenty of starts, and yet not enough finishes to get the Isles a goal. Billy Jaffe made a point afterward that was very evident; "There is not a pure-goal scorer on this team... a player who can finish the play."

Christine and I have had a couple of debates on this subject, and I am of the same opinion as Mr. Jaffe on this point- the Isles have drive and they have the determination to power them past a lot of teams. However, they lack the talent- the sufficiency of a player who can finish a play, or make a lot out of nothing, or produce a consistent string of goals. Last year, you might have been able to give that label to Jason Blake, who had 40 goals for the Isles; now, it's not clear who our goalscorer can be. The leading scorer, Mike Comrie, has come very close, but he needs to be simply a little more consistent. It is true that the Isles have come far with the limited supply of talent they have, and that is because they have relied on a defense-first, teamwork-oriented system that demands hard work ethic and relentless pressure. However, when that system fails, as it has recently, it wouldn't hurt to have something to make up for all of it. And yes, perhaps it wouldn't help as much as everyone thinks it would- as we all know, you can't rely on one thing to be your saving grace- but as far as I and Billy Jaffe can tell, it can only help the Islanders' cause to have a little more talent on the team.

Notes: Bruno Gervais was injured in the first period after a nasty hit by Branislav Mezei, and upon going to the locker room, was reported to have suffered a concussion and thigh contusion... Brendan Witt, in only his second game back from injury, looked to have suffered another when he slammed his right foot into the boards near the end of the first, and although he looked uncomfortable, he stuck it out and finished the game.

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