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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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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Bailey Demoted; Mottau Injured; Isles v. Columbus Tonight

After reaching a losing streak of 13 games, the Islanders announced about 31 minutes ago via Twitter that they have sent Josh Bailey down to Bridgeport on loan. The demotion comes the night of the Isles' matchup against the Columbus Blue Jackets, a team that's been flying fairly high after winning four straight. Ironically, it was Bailey who made the difference last time the two teams played each other, with his overtime goal winning it for the Isles, 4-3.

But this is a very different Columbus squad. Both goalies, Mathieu Garon and Steve Mason, have been solid for the Blue Jackets (Garon gets the nod tonight after Mason shut out the Predators, 2-0). Captain Rick Nash has a six-game goal streak and points in the last nine games he's played, and overall, the team is incredibly strong defensively; their 2.32 goals-allowed average is the third-lowest in the league at the moment, which does not bode well for an offensively struggling team like the Islanders. Not only that, but with Bailey's demotion and captain Doug Weight being questionable for tonight (back spasms), the Isles may have to play a bit shorthanded. Not to mention that Mike Mottau could be out of commission for a while after being struck in the right eye by a puck last game against Atlanta. He spent a couple of days in the hospital down there before being cleared to fly back up to New York; according to Katie Strang, Mottau is suffering from hyphemia (blood in the eye) and could be out for up to six weeks. Not a good thing for a club that is thin on the blueline as it is. They called up Travis Hamonic from Bridgeport yesterday morning to fill in the gap.

I have to question why it is that Bailey has been sent down, yet John Tavares has not. While on the voting ballot for the All-Star Game in Raleigh in January, Tavares has had a minus-rating in all but two games this season and his -15 is the worst on the roster. True, the team as a whole has only scored 18 goals in 13 games, so that isn't all on Johnny, but if you're going to demote anyone to the Bridge, why not have it be a guy who's supposed to be a goalscorer? Just a thought for something that will really send a message across to the rest of the locker room.

However, what's been done is done, and all we as fans can do is hold our breaths and hope that somehow it pays off. Puck drop is set for tonight at 7 p.m. at Nassau Coliseum.

(Isles' preview on their website is here.)

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