11/20/08

Big Test Coming for 08-09 Islanders

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/20/2008 10:43:00 AM
We have seen Scott Gordon's team play some very good hockey and could easily have another three-four wins.

With the injuries they have had the club has produced more goals than they did a year ago and led the league in blocked shots playing without Martinek, Witt and Meyer for a good stretch after Sutton, Campoli were out early.

Outside of the Buffalo game they have been competitive in every contest, even the one they did not score they could have had a few goals if the puck bounced in their favor.

But now we get to the next level of games and the ones that will give us a good indication if this group is built for the long-haul of a playoff race without DiPietro.

Even the Devils can put up a six spot as they did against Washington last week but lets leave them out of this.

@ Buffalo, @ Montreal, Pittsburgh, @ Boston & Ottawa is what I want to look at.
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@ Buffalo: Gives up goals but against Boston scored four first period goals before the Bruins rallied. Outside of the opener against the Blues the club has not broken out like that in a game and may need to win a wide-open game here.

@ Montreal: What the Islanders did against Montreal at home was impressive for two periods but we all know what happened when the Canadians hit the switch and got skating themselves. Can the Islanders who are a better team than they were that night go up to Montreal and skate with them to the level it will take to earn points with the game on the table?

Pittsburgh: We have seen the Pens once at the Coliseum already with Crosby just back from injury, the Islanders got the game to a shootout. Can they now do what they did last year against the Pens and win a game here? Sabourin was in goal for that game so forget about Fleury's injury.

@ Boston: Bruins after being dominated by the Isles for years chewed up the Islanders last year and beat them at their own game. This is a huge test to see if the Isles can compete with a club that is only getting better than they were a year ago with a lot of things working for them.

Ottawa: I expect next time we see the Senators they will be out of their losing streak and ready to send a message to the club that beat them twice or they will have some new players with them.

This is the stretch folks I think we find out of this team is for real and built for a playoff race. They win their share of games and compete here they can with anyone.









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