Islanders 2: Capitals 3 (OT)
I won't lie- watching two hockey games in a row after missing nearly a week straight is good. Watching two losses in a row? Not so much.
But when you're an Islanders fan, as much is to be expected, as the flaws in Coach Scott Gordon's system continue to be evident and the Isles blow yet another opportunity to get two points, this time against the Washington Capitals. And get this- Alexander Ovechkin didn't even have to score a goal.
In all honesty, Ovechkin was barely a factor in this game; although he had an assist, he repeatedly missed the net, and I don't even think he recorded an official shot on goal. However, Mike Green and Keith Aucoin did- they were the ones who scored to pull the Caps even with the Isles, after Radek Martinek struck in the first period on a beautiful shorthanded play (his first career SHG) and Jeff Tambellini scored HIS first of the season (remember him?!). For forty minutes at the very least, the Islanders were the better team of the two. They executed their forecheck much better, in comparison to a flat Washington team that could not generate anything on offense for much of the game, and even got lucky on their second goal (it banked off of the leg of Josh Bailey, who tried to do Dwayne Roloson's job for him when it wasn't necessary).
In the end, the Isles' system of play, which I believe steadily wore them down as time passed, couldn't prevail, and the D allowed Mike Green to fly up the ice and pass to Brooks Laich, who put it home and capped the Caps' comeback (forgive the pun).
Some people want to blame this on the goaltending (which I don't find at fault), or the defense (which I somewhat find is to blame for many of our losses). But I just think that if Scott Gordon were to tweak the system, he might find an entire world of change from one game to the next. How many games now have we seen a monumental breakdown? Wasn't the game against Boston the tipoff that mayyyybe something had to be done regarding how our team plays? Even if not, think of it this way; we have no first-place lead to protect, we don't have anything to worry about as far as playoffs are concerned (at least not for now), so why not think outside the box? It wouldn't hurt to try something different- instead of a two-man forecheck, maybe one man to prevent the entire team from tiring out. And enough of this overall "Overspeed" concept- some players are just naturally fast, and some are not. By pushing them to their limit all the time, all you're doing is getting them more easily exhausted. You're not going to make a Jason Blake or an Eric Staal out of Brendan Witt, for example, so stop trying. Besides, this is the definition of insanity at this point- executing the same thing every game and expecting different results.
If I sound overly critical, it's not by choice. It just appears to me that while we all knew that this wasn't going to be an overnight turnaround, there are some things here that are and should be changed and improved upon. But after all, I am still just the blogger in the room. We'll see what happens Monday night against Montreal.
Welcome to the NYIslesScene!
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.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Islanders 2: Capitals 3 (OT)