Four home games in six days; three in four, against three clubs that are currently in playoff position. This will test the mettle of this young club, and will let the rest of the league know that they mean business.
Tonight – is the first of two straight against Canadian clubs, when Ottawa comes a calling. This team, decimated by the injury to its most important players, have been virtually unbeatable in the lasst few weeks. Their defense first mentality, is almost as boring at the play of the New Jersey Devils of the past decad; but they get the job done.
What the Islanders have done in this month of March, is get contributions from just about everyone, and not play in ‘scared mode’. They do not let deficits get them down, and when they are in the lead, they have not let their guard down. Just when you thought that they would implode when the Panthers got three goals in a few minutes, the forwards were playing aggressive, and as you know, Casey Cizikas and his linemates, cycled through the Panther defense, getting the bog goal to take the lead for good on Saturday night.
As far as the net is concerned, you will have to see Kevin Poulin in a game this week. Which one, is the big question? My thought is Thursday against his home town team, Montreal. Despite the fact that Evgeni Nabokov has played outstanding, and is currently fifth in the league in wins, you need him to be at his optimal health and fitness. He needs to be down a game to be as fresh as possible.
The big line of Tavares, Moulson and Boyes will have to continue to supply the scoring. JT is the type of player in his young career that relishes these opportunities, and will take it to the next level.
This team needs so desperately to change their play at home, since they are under 500 in Uniondale right now. Being at that level is not the DNA of a playoff team. That needs to change right now, and it begins today with the Senators coming to town. Play a good home game, and get the two points on the ledger.