What can be written now I have not been writing here in these infrequent updates?
I suppose the New York Islanders will go win ten in a row scoring four goals a game, let's hope so.
We knew this was a team with flaws in terms of size or physical play or veteran players who could finish. We also knew the special teams numbers and five on five play were at the bottom before, during and after the winning streak.
Those were terrible signs moving forward,
I felt the winning streak would help turn those numbers as the team got more confident in themselves, it did not happen nor has a fourth line with Doug Weight and Richard Park produced any significant offense however no combination has.
You have to be able to do one thing well to build off of to get out of a losing streak whether it be a hot goaltender, powerplay or penalty killing.
None of the above has happened whether it be Bryce Salvador's goal in the second Devil game or the St Louis goal against Tampa. Powerplay has been an outright disaster.
Doug Weight said something just as the losing streak started that was spot on, he said (not exact quote) you can throw pucks on goal and get bounces but he added you have to have players who can finish.
We all now know the Islanders have given back all the ground they gained and more with their recent losing streak and again sit at four games under break even. It's very disappointing they beat a lot of teams you would not expect them to beat and then lose to all the bubble teams.
The good news is the hard work has been there. The shots taken per game, the opposition blocks and shots missed by the Islanders do not reflect a club being out shot by huge numbers being pinned in their own end of the ice.
Scott Gordon is repeating himself a lot after games as well. His players have worked hard, he cannot be over critical when they do that.
It can turn around, pucks can start going in, the difference is spotting Roloson is working as poorly it did in October when this was done with Biron, both goaltenders now with Rick DiPietro are letting in that one bad goal a team scoring a goal or two per game cannot allow.
Moving forward (as in six days of games) unless the team strings together some wins immediately they will have to be sellers at the deadline with some very tough choice on some prospects and veterans.
I'm disappointed Brendan Witt is in Bridgeport but his knee injuries have been frequent and it has effected his game. Witt had at least three knee injuries over the last two years and played through it as long as he could and you could see his game pick up in December 2008 when he finally got back some mobility. I will not knock Witt because he gives all he has to give over sixty minutes.
As always, Witt was first class and his usual positive self in Monday night's interview with Michael Fornabaio of the Ct Post.
I'm very disappointed in how Jeff Tambellini has been used and that Blake Comeau plays right wing (unless Trevor Gillies dresses for three minutes) Matt Moulson as a left wing is part of a reason for it. Scott Gordon cannot create five left wing spots and some of this goes beyond him to his players also.
You can read my previous entry on failure of prospects for all the repeat comments.
Some excellent interviews where he has opened up. His bad goals in some games have been a big problem but he apparently is healthy and should only get better. He beat
Miller and Martin Brodeur within a few days.
Very disappointed he is no longer with the Thrashers and terrible for the Atlanta hockey market and the league in general. I would not be happy even if Garth Snow got him for our team at a similar cost.
I'm a huge fan of players staying with the team that drafted them. I suspect Thrasher ownership could not give him his money front loaded which is why a deal could not get done and what no one will talk about if he does sign a front-loaded deal with a corporate team willing to give him thirty or forty million over the first three years and lose money.
I will hold out hope the Thrashers will be offering him a contract come July.
What's Next for the Islanders?
They go play the Predators at home, travel to Pittsburgh, finally two games before the break which includes trade freeze. They need a 4-0 stretch here or the playoff gap grows to seven-eight point range with six teams blocking them.
In short playoff contention becomes unrealistic.
NYIFC will be taking a full vacation during the winter Olympics rooting for Mark Streit but not covering games, that includes all Bridgeport games which are available here and on the prospect blog.
My Thanks as always to all our readers of NYIFC and our twitter entries.
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