The New York Islanders goaltending carousel continues to spin as earlier this week Kevin Poulin was loaned to Bridgeport and Anders Nilsson was recalled. Goaltending is still something the organization needs to address through trade or free agency, but the home grown goaltending talent seems to be running out of time to prove their worth.
The first day of the new month was one the Islanders would like to forget having been defeated 5-1 by the New Jersey Devils at home this afternoon. The game was overall a poor performance and one like this that hasn’t been seen from the Islanders in almost two months.
In a battle of the Olympics’ top two goal scorers, the New York Islanders came out on top on the strength of Lubomir Visnovsky’s snap shot from the slot 1:55 into overtime.
Toronto’s Phil Kessel and the Islanders’ Michael Grabner each had five goals in Sochi to pace Men’s hockey in the Olympics, and each of these wingers factored in tonight’s offense.
The NHL trade deadline is scheduled for March 5th, just a few days shy from officially being one month away. Typically, that would leave for plenty of hockey to be played between now and then, but that isn't the case this year with the Winter Olympics coming up in just a little over a week.
In fact, there are only seven NHL games to be played between now and then.
They currently hold a 21-28-8 record that is good for 50 points and 14th in the Eastern Conference. They are also 10 points away from the eighth placed Philadelphia Flyers.
With the Islanders having lost their last five games in a row, all signs point to this team becoming sellers at the deadline.
A special night at Yankee Stadium for the NHL Stadium Series as the Islanders/Rangers rivalry added history by playing outdoor at this historic venue. The conditions were not what fans and the players are used to with a 22 degree game time temperature and playing in front of over 50,000 fans under the lights.
The Islanders play the 3rd of their 6 game road trip tonight in Dallas against the Stars coming off a 2-1 overtime win on Friday night in Colorado. This is the second and final meeting between the two teams this season as the Islanders defeated the Stars 7-3 last Monday night at Nassau Coliseum.
Kevin Poulin has been under the Islanders' microscope for quite some time. The organization has put a lot of faith in him, expecting him to eventually take over the starting position from veteran net-minder Evgeni Nabokov, perhaps as early as next season (Photo credit: 560XLS/Flickr).
Early on, fans were probably starting to lower their expectations for Poulin, only winning one of his first five starts and then dropping six in a row between November 19th and December 7th.
However, a recent surge by the Islanders, which can be very much attributed to the performance of Poulin, may help turn a few heads and increase the confidence of the 23-year old keeper.