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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.


Friday, February 5, 2010

Isles Improve Play, Don't Improve Offense

Islanders 2: Lightning 5

What on Earth do the Islanders have to do to get a win around here?

What started out promising turned into yet another mess, this time against the Lightning. Jeff Tambellini was back in the lineup tonight, but as expected, he didn't help out much against a Tampa Bay team that had its best players on their A game. Steven Stamkos scored twice and had an assist, Martin St. Louis scored one and tallied an assist, and Vincent Lecavalier scored on a complete gaffe by the Isles' D. Alex Tanguay also put an empty-netter home to give the Lightning the victory and get them even more comfortable in the top 8, and Antero Niittymaki made 34 saves to get the number-two star of the game.

Granted, Matt Moulson scored his 21st of the season, and Jon Sim's gate-crashing paid off with his 8th of the year to give the Isles the lead in the second period- ever so briefly, before St. Louis squeezed the puck through Dwayne Roloson on the short side. But ultimately what changed the game for them was the eventual game-winner by Lecavalier. Practically everyone was involved in the play in the offensive zone, and before anyone could cover the points, Sean Bergenheim coughed up a centering pass to Victor Hedman. Hedman hit Alex Tanguay with a lead pass, and Tanguay and Lecavalier were off to the races on a 2-on-0. Roloson had no chance. After that, the Islanders couldn't buy a goal- tons of missed shots, shots that hit the post or the side of the net, and much frustration on the faces of the players in white, orange and blue when all was said and done.

In other news, I hope Mark Streit is okay after being crunched into the boards by Todd Fedoruk. It looked like a bit of an awkward hit, and he got up kind of slow afterward, though looked to be all right. Or so I believe.

So now it's back to Long Island for the Isles, who have lost six straight and remain completely motionless in 13th place. They face off once more against the Hurricanes at home on Saturday, and I hope to God that they take the good parts of last night's game and run with them against this Carolina team. Sooner or later, something's gotta give.

Now for something else I wanted to comment on, related to the team: There was a poll placed on the Isles' website related to second-year players, and asking which of three sophs have been the most-improved: Drew Doughty, Steven Stamkos, or Josh Bailey. Now, I don't know about you, but if I see a guy like Stamkos, who just scored his 30th and 31st goals of the season, and a guy like Doughty who now has 42 points on the year, and then look at Josh Bailey with his 27 points and career-high 13 goals, I think this comparison is a bit unfair. This is not a knock on Bailey- I think the guy can be a very good player, especially since he's shifted over to left wing from center, and he's probably a good kid. But there's no way you can compare him to the other two, especially since the others probably have a much better support system in terms of veteran presence and the like. Bailey is one of many young players still trying to find their feet in the NHL, and while he has a captain in Doug Weight who's won a Cup, let's face it, there's not much veteran influence there. All three of these guys are still developing, but no doubt the other two have a leg-up on Josh where that is concerned.

With all of that said... till next time.

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