Thomas Vanek the Anti Matt Moulson
The calendar turned to the twelfth month of the year, the Penguins came into the Coliseum starting a goalie against a team that he calls "his daddy", the lead was 2-0 early in the game, and the vaunted Pittsburgh power play was denied with a 5-3 man advantage. What does this add up to? Nothing.
The Isles twittisphere was ablaze after the game all referencing a new complaint. Rather than the typical Fire Cappy, Fire Snow, or Change the Lines tweets, the subject from this nights dejecting loss was focused on the referees.
The fact that NHL refs are sub par is not breaking news. A player who is in his 9th NHL season, making $6.4 million dollars a year, is known as a "superstar", and doesn't know how to control his emotions, is news that everyone should be talking about.
A minute after Evgeni Malkin took what looked to be the most bonehead penalty of the night by cross checking John Tavares right in front of the ref, Thomas Vanek one upped him by taking a back breaking retaliatory slashing penalty.
Vanek most definitely had a gripe as he was taken down a couple of times in front of the net by Kris Letang, but he must be a professional and keep his cool. This is not the first time and will not be the last time a call is missed.
The Pen's did not score on their 4-3 power play in overtime, but the fact that a moronic penalty nullified the Islanders power play chance at the end of the game is about as big of a confidence killer there is.
The Islanders new #26 has been anything but a superstar for the Islanders. He's been lazy on defense (he had a great up front view of Ovechkin's OT winner Saturday night), he has not been strong with the puck, and has not been strong in front of the net on the power play.
Vanek has zero power play goals with the Islanders in 12 games and they have only won 2 games with him in the lineup.
All of the blame should not go on Vanek as he was not the one that lobbied to come to Long Island, Garth Snow is responsible for making the deal. Snow is the individual that figured it was smart to send his top line winger, Matt Moulson, to the Sabres for the anti-Moulson.
Moulson was an iron man, Vanek has already missed 6 games in just over a month as an Islander. Moulson had chemistry with the Captain John Tavares, Vanek has not been able to adjust to the fast pace nature of JT. Moulson finished, Vanek misses the net.
The sample size is small, but there has been nothing positive about it. This seems to have been yet another blunder by Snow and his front office unless Vanek can turn his game around in time to either lift his team from the bottom of the standings or build his worth up enough to trade him at the deadline.