Islanders Insight Top Shelf: Oh Well 12/6/2015

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NHL: Ottawa Senators at New York Islanders

Before we begin on this Sunday morning in December, remember that I tend to lean to the light side while some tend to be more followers of the dark side (geeky Star Wars reference…anyone else super excited for the 18th?).

Anyone who has been reading me for a little bit knows that already but  I figured a little disclaimer never hurt anyone. In fact, it probably even saved thousands of law suits here and there, so boom.

Last night was not a pretty ending. The Islanders had a 2-0 lead in Ottawa after a Josh Bailey powerplay goal with 12 minutes to play. Two minutes later, it was 2-1 thanks to a Mark Stone screen shot off a nicely designed zone entry by the Senators.

Then, at 17:02, the ridiculous NHL officiating took over and decided that Ottawa NEEDED a powerplay. Not that they would have to earn it, they just NEEDED it. Keep in mind regarding the below, the referee was in that corner, staring straight at the play. (Captured at my in-laws because you know there will be NO replay of this to be found anywhere)

The Islanders killed it off (barely) but the momentum generated allowed the Senators to keep piling on pressure in the Islanders zone and it resulted in another screen shot, an absolutely wicked wrist shot by Mike Hoffman that beat Jaroslav Halak 21 seconds after the penalty had expired. Now yes, Matt Martin could have been  out higher on Hoffman, preventing the shot. But the Islanders have been playing a collapsing system in the defensive zone this year and it HAS been working so….Secondly, had that ‘not even borderline’ call not been made, Martin is not out there with under a minute to go, defending the obviously more gifted Senators offensive powers.

In overtime, it was all Ottawa, as they danced around with the puck. Halak stopped a Bobby Ryan breakaway before John Tavares, trying to do too much (as he had to, since Kyle Okposo gave him no support in actually TRYING to get open -watch him dance INTO traffic and not away from it in a three on three), committed his 82nd turnover of the game, leading to a Ryan-Erik Karlsson two on one for the game winner.

More dark side tales:

  • The Islanders suffered through another sleepy opening 20 minutes, lucky to be up 1-0 on a gratuitous double deflection leading to a Martin tally.
  • Anders Lee seemingly is playing pretty well, but man do the Islanders need MUCH more than 4 goals in 28 games from him.
  • Lastly with the negatives, has anyone seen the real Nick Leddy? If so, please alert him the 2015-16 season has started.

They always say offset negatives with positives, so now, onto the good.

  • They outshot the Senators 23-16 over the final 40 minutes.
  • All in all, played a good road game, considering it was the second of a back to back and ending a string of four games in six nights.
  • They accumulated seven of eight points against some pretty good freakin hockey teams – Colorado, Rangers, St.Louis, Ottawa.
  • They have points in seven straight games, going 5-0-2 in that stretch and are 8-3-2 in their last 13 games and have the fifth most points in the entire league.
  • Upcoming games versus Philadelphia, Columbus, New Jersey and Florida are all winnable.

So, as you can see, the sky is not falling. The world is not ending. And no, the season is not over. Move onto the next one, as they say, and let’s see how the boys respond in Philadelphia on Tuesday.

BONUS (sort of): If you haven’t seen the injury to Kyle Turris late in the third period as he got tied up with Casey Cizikas, ouch. Looked horrid for his right ankle/knee. So much so that head coach Dave Cameron said after the game he was ‘scared to ask’ the trainers about it. Click this link…if you dare.

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