The Islanders overcame 3 blown leads of 2-0, 3-2, and 4-3; but still came away with the win. At times I was cursing the Islanders inability to keep a lead, but 2 points is 2 points. Also I need to keep things in perspective, the Islanders are learning how to win and are playing one of the Conference’s best teams.
Here are my 4 points:
Islanders’ offense. The Islanders have scored the second most goals in the Eastern Conference. As of this morning, the Islanders’ have the best power play in the NHL scoring 37.5% of the time (53.8% on the road!). At one point the Islanders had a streak of 5 goals for their last 5 power plays. The Tavares and Moulson connection is evident and other guys are chipping in.
On the flip side, the Islanders’ defense. Coming into the season I had question marks in this department. Last night, the Islanders’ defensive weaknesses were evident. On the second goal, Hamonic made a mistake by leaving his position in front of the net to try to put a body on the puck handler who was behind the goal line. An impossible angle to score from! As soon as he leaves the front of the net uncovered the puck is passed to the Devils’ Carter. As a result of the bad positioning, Carter had enough time in front of the net to finish his own rebound and not be touched by an Islander player. On the fourth goal, Streit was caught in between two Devil forwards. He let the goal scorer Henrique sneak behind him and go in all alone on Nabokov. Streit needs to have more conviction on that play and pick a man.
Martin Brodeur had a tough game. It was the worst I have seen him play. His puck handling was not up to par. Brodeur gave the puck away multiple times including the game winner by Boyes. And I am sure he wanted to do better on a couple of the goals.
The Islanders better learn how to count! They had 8 skaters on the ice on the too many men penalty. I laugh now but I was cursing when it happened.
In honor of Jack getting stitches last night for a battle wound, no Jack Capuano hair moment. I am guessing Jack will be back out there and ready on Sunday. It reminded me of my own battle wound while coaching. Last year, I took a stick blade to my eyebrow and had a nice cut. But I survived.