The New York Islanders have certainly hit a lull this season, having lost seven of their past nine games and being outscored 10-1 in the past two games. Although the forwards and defense are far from perfect and share the blame with the entire team, the goaltending has certainly been an issue (Photo Credit: spotboslow/Flickr).
Teams typically put themselves in a good position to in when they manage to get over 40 shots on net, or close to it, such as in the 3-2 loss to the Sabres (43 shots) and last night's 3-1 loss to the Senators (38 shots).
But that hasn't exactly been the case for the Isles.
The Islanders are just slightly past the quarter mark of the season after playing their 13th game of the year last night against the New York Rangers. They skated to a 4-3 shootout victory to give them a 5-7-1 record.
With 11 points, the Islanders sit 12th in the Eastern Conference; four points out of the eighth placed Rangers and last in the Atlantic Division (Photo Credit: theseoduke/Flickr).
Five of the Islanders top-six forwards have been producing from the start of the year. John Tavares has 16 points in 13 games, trailed by Matt Moulson with 13 and Brad Boyes with 10. Frans Nielsen has quietly put up nine points in the games that have been played, while Michael Grabner has seven.
A quick check of the New York team site will tell you they have Kevin Poulin, Anders Nilsson, Mikko Koskinen and Cody Rosen. Let's forget Rosen for the purposes of this article. The Clarkson goaltender is a back up at his school and has no real future at the NHL level.
As Long Islanders shovel their way out of Nemo's wintery wrath, the Islanders look to dig themselves out of this 3 game losing streak.
After a successful road trip, the Islanders returned home to lose to New Jersey and Pittsburgh and went back to the road for the first against the Rangers.
Other than John Tavares' impressive play, the Islanders looked outworked, unenthusiastic and just overwhelmed by the Rangers.
They have been outscored 11-3 on this recent skid. It is obvious that scoring is not coming to the team as easily as it once was.
It is important for the team not to harp on losses and let them snowball into long stretches of futility that could render this season a wash.
The season is too tightly packed for the Islanders to feel bad for themselves and let the losses mount. In this talented Eastern Conference and more specifically Atlantic Division, it is easy to get buried.
The Pittsburgh Penguins skate into the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum seemingly much more awake than the last time the Islanders ran into them. The Penguins will look to continue their hot streak and put the 4-1 domination by the Islanders behind him.
In case you haven’t followed where Pittsburgh has been since they were outplayed at home, they have strung off 3 straight wins in dominating fashion outscoring their opponents 14-4 over 3 games. Sitting at 6-3-0, they look to add to their slight Atlantic Division lead.
Meanwhile the Isles battled tooth and nail with a gritty Devils team. The Islanders feel victimized by a call that quickly turned a 0-0 draw late into the third period into a 3-0 Devils win.
Whether or not Brian Strait should have been sitting in the penalty box when the Devils rallied for the win is irrelevant. The score on Sunday was misleading and they continued their strong play all day.
The New York Islanders were looking to continue their winning ways against the New Jersey Devils today in a Super Bowl Sunday matinee but came up short, surrendering three late goals in the third period for a final score of 3-0.
Special teams would be a key factor in this game, as the Islanders had a handful of power play chances in the first period that they were unable to connect on. In the end, a charging penalty on Isles defenseman, Brian Strait would ultimately lead to all three goals scored by the Devils. Steven Bernier received a bouncing puck off an Adam Henrique shot and was easily able to roof it over a sprawled Evgeni Nabokov, who had 24 saves on the night. Adam Greene had the secondary assist.
Just over a minute later, Bernier would strike again, this time at even-strength with the assists coming from Ryan Carter and Stephen Gionta.
David Clarkson would add an empty netter, which also gave Greene another helper for the night.
The Isles are currently 2-1-1 on this trip after Tuesday night's destruction of the Pittsburgh Penguins. As always, the Islanders are led by their star John Tavares who has two goals and six assists for eight points in the season's first eight games.