Seems a lot of games recently, John Tavares is receiving the anti-Crosby treatment in Colin Campbell's no-contact to head league as he is being targeted quite a bit.
Matt Moulson was never more upset Saturday in the last year and a half during the second period when Tavares was hit. Tavares again was rocked in the Leaf game.
I was thinking about this going into the Leaf game and not because of Toronto, but in general. Tavares has already taken some huge hits earlier.
No one is completely healthy after fifty plus games, but his plays to the net (not set-ups for goals) have dropped. I don't have an answer because putting Konopka or Martin on his wing to fight everyone who checks him is not an answer or going to create room for him to finish or make plays.
All I know is he has to be protected better than he has been or it seems a matter of time.
Garth Snow, Jack Capuano, the players better start yelling long and loud at the media, and Campbell/officials that these kind of hits should not be permitted also.
Sometimes you have to yell in advance.
You can bet Tavares agent will be very soon to protect his client.
Sorry folks, anyone who wants to tell me aside from the last goal Mikko Koskinen did not play very well against Toronto is kidding themselves, or only looking at meaningless stats from games he has had little support in Bridgeport.
The Sound Tigers are in an Islander-like free fall between injuries/lack of veterans/call-ups.
The shots/setups and where the Leafs created those chances was all about the Islanders playing a very poor team game or willing to trade chances combined with their usual poor starts. The first four goals would have beaten any NHL veteran.
Kessel bounced off Hamonic (good play by Kessel) and found Nikolai Kulemin, who was alone and can finish for the fourth goal. Scott Allen, was as animated as I have seen at Matt Martin after the Leafs third goal when Kaberle walked in from the point, which I guess was his spot to defend as he was hitting someone in the corner.
Kevin Poulin has had knee problems before here and it is the left knee which he hurt in juniors. It's likely a terrible break for Poulin and an Islander team that cannot stay healthy, having written that I have seen enough of Bridgeport where I can tell our fans if Koskinen gets some defensive support, he can keep this team in games and win as Poulin was.
Problem is Koskinen a week ago had to sit behind Joel Martin for a weekend because of what was described as a lingering issue. Koskinen came off hip surgery last year and Garth Snow had three goalies in Bridgeport (as he did a year ago) not only for Rick DiPietro.
Joel Martin played five games in Bridgeport, he did not come from the CHL directly to New York. The Sound Tigers lack veterans with many of them here, and have been decimated by injuries themselves which put the club in a free fall. I cannot tell you anything else about Joel Martin.
I don't have a goaltending answer beyond that. I would not bring in a veteran with injury issues or a veteran not able to help immediately. I would not take a chance on a Michael Leighton or want his contract for next season either.
It was ugly and inappropriate seeing Mrs Placey and other Msg personalities, a bit too enthusiastic at the drama behind someone (on any team) being hurt during the telecast.
Personally I thought it was a first class job by the Islanders to have Joel Martin in a limo all the way from Bridgeport w/equipment so quickly, on a night ironically Bridgeport's road game was canceled.
The Islanders bounced Phaneuf around last year with the Leafs and Matt Martin buried Dion Phaneuf on 3/10/10, so why was it made such a story-line did not make much sense by the Cablevision paid announcers? They had no problem finding the hit on Okposo from Calgary preseason game (the Dolan's did not air) for Islander fans, but did not show Islander footage of Martin's hit which they own?
Want to see something no one is writing or discussing? I'm not going to debate the merits of trading Wisniewski again because this has nothing to do with any one specific player.
Having written that look at the shots allowed total here seems the Islanders are surrendering quite a few less shots, even with some poor defensive efforts like the Leaf game. When they went on their winning streak they were surrendering close to forty shots or more most games.
I guess sometimes it's not supposed to make sense. The injury pace leads the NHL, does not approach the 582 games two seasons ago.
You bet the pressure is on Jack Capuano. How he gets his team to respond speaks to his ability to do it in the future under adversity. Capuano knows when players take the easy way out in games, the Leafs were playing their fifth game in seven days and had more jump as game wore on.
That's not acceptable, New York was waiting home for this team.
What's next is they go play a struggling Canadians team that has a game Wednesday, then they come home and better be prepared to make up for their last effort in Pittsburgh.
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