Recently one Islander said the teams top six defenders was among the best in the division when healthy.
My math says the top six (before Gervais was announced injured) were healthy for a grand total of one game this season and that did not even turn out to be true.
Of course a big part of the weaker defense/shots against is about all the injuries from the beginning of camp with Campoli and Sutton going on the shelf as someone is always hurt with Gervais-Martinek now out.
Another part that has to be written about is overspeed when you see unusual mistakes from Meyer and even Witt we did not see last season at their collective best. Witt at the end of the last game looked like he needed some shot blocking practice and put on a one-man show in a contest that was over where he did not quit but it was his most memorable moment since he returned.
My theory is an easy one, they need DiPietro in net to handle the puck.
Last year the club/defense were decimated down the stretch with injuries but with Dubie in net the Islanders shots given up rose dramatically almost immediately.
No knock on MacDonald (or Dubielewicz) because not even DiPietro, Luongo, Brodeur at their best could play this many games in a row with all these shots and do any better than MacDonald has played in the Islander net, he's been that good and his third star pick of the month (first goaltender) for November says it best.
MacDonald is not a stickhandling goaltender with a defense constructed for a player who can move the puck and keep the pressure off.
Just a theory, could be an incorrect one because we do not know how DiPietro would be asked to play under Scott Gordon.
Most nights DiPietro handled the puck very well and I have seen countless games where it's helped the club win by keeping pressure off, some only remember the game in Tampa.