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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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Sunday, November 22, 2009

Isles' Weekend Not What They Hoped For

Islanders 2: Wild 3
Islanders 1: Blues 4

The Islanders got off to quick starts in both games.

Josh Bailey scored two goals, one in each game. The goaltenders did all they could. Even Jon Sim woke up and helped out, with a goal and an assist against the Wild on Friday night.

But all in all, it wouldn't be enough, as they got shocked by the Wild and drubbed by St. Louis in back-to-back games in the West.

It started with a heartbreaker in Minnesota. As Kyle Okposo and Jack Hillen's families and friends shared a luxury suite in the Xcel Energy Center and watched, the Islanders allowed the first goal, as Owen Nolan got lucky and was able to bounce the puck off of someone in front past Martin Biron. The Isles got that one back in the second, however, on hard work by Trent Hunter and Jon Sim. As the Wild converged on Hunter, he caught Sim heading into the zone on the right wing, and Sim took a shot that went right by Niklas Backstrom for the tie.

Sim wasn't done yet, though. Heading into the offensive zone, he went to the back of the net with a Wild defenseman on him, grabbed the puck and went to the left post, hitting Josh Bailey with a great pass that Bailey let go of quickly to give the Isles the lead.

However, penalties were the killer, and the Islanders took plenty of them, enabling the Wild to put their power play onto the ice. Mikko Koivu tied up the score on a man-advantage, and then with 1:07 left in the game, the Isles made a huge mistake.

Blake Comeau made to clear the puck along the boards, which was erroneous because he had two Wild players there to block the attempt. Not only that, but what was even worse was as Comeau went to do that, both defensemen- Mark Streit and Bruno Gervais- were on their way out of the zone, leaving Owen Nolan all alone in front of Biron. Eric Belanger, therefore, only had to chip the puck over to Nolan for the goal. That sealed the deal for the Wild, and left the Isles without even an overtime point.

That disappointment must have carried over to last night in St. Louis, for although the Isles had had the early lead on a Josh Bailey goal (the only bright spot), the Blues took over from there. Dwayne Roloson was in net this time, and by the looks of the highlights on NHL Network, he may want to work a little bit on his five-hole. Eric Perron scored two goals (including one that might have Mark Streit scratching his head for a while), former Isle Eric Brewer scored one, and Patrik Berglund scored as well for the Blues. I'm not sure whether or not I was glad to have missed this one, spending time with my family in New Jersey, but I can say this for sure: the Isles will have to step it up again. This road trip can't be easy for them, but it's almost over, and they'll need at least another two points just to pick up their confidence. Next game is against the Maple Leafs, and if they lose that one... let's just say, Isles fans will be particularly offended.

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