There are times over the past few seasons, that the Islanders, in my opinion, were a better road team than home. For whatever reason, the team played a simple road game. Keep the game on an even keel, and not trying to take many stands. They would need to find their spots, and pick the right opportunity to take a chance on net.
Of course, the play of the goaltender is paramount for a road team’s success. Evgeni Nabokov has started out well this season, and will most likely play tonight in Toronto, and most likely will see Grizzly Adams, oh, wait, Rick DiPietro either tomorrow in Boston (likely) or Sunday in Winnipeg.
Guys will be pumped up tonight, include the local Toronto products, such as Tavares, Moulson and now Boyes. The newest Islander winger is pointless in his first two games in Blue and Orange. He is going to want to step up in his home town. JT has had a game winner in Toronto, and I am sure he would like to notch his first goal of 2012-2013 in front of his family and friends.
Toronto has started well, obtaining wins over Montreal, and a big win to spoil the home opener for the Pittsburgh Penguins last night 5-2. JVR got two goals to spark the offense, but lost the services of Joffrey Lupul, who will be out indefinitely due to a fractured forearm due to a Dion Phaneuf slap shot. He (Lupul) is a major cog in and out of the Toronto dressing room, and will be sorely missed.
Successfuly road trips are measured by how the team starts them. The Isles need to come out strong. No glaring mistakes, and keep the game as smart and simple as possible. This is the trip that can start their season in the correct way. Come out of it above 500, and you can have confidence brewing through the month of February. Come out 1 and 4 or less, and you can start to question the ability of the team to move further.
If you want to talk to me – use twitter @islestalk or @islessection317, or e-mail me firstname.lastname@example.org. Have a great day in Islander Country.