Last time New York played in Florida, they came in 4-1-2 on 10/23 as a first place club with Scott Gordon already concerned about even strength play. Tavares had a hat-trick, the Panthers played pin-ball with a pass along the walls by DiPietro that helped Florida setup a pp goal and the game turned into a 4-3 regulation loss.
It was the beginning of the end.
Next time New York won a game was 11/26 with the next win after that 12/16, only two overtime losses/one shootout losses in-between. Eight skaters from that game for New York are injured, off the team or back in juniors. (Niederreiter)
MacDonald, Hamonic and some current players were not in the lineup due to injury or on the team.
So here we are in far different circumstances.
Montoya a nice bounce-back game in Carolina, with several days of rest before/after Canes/Panthers game and DiPietro gets the start after Lawson has been sitting for weeks?
I'm not seeing this for same reason you don't start Lawson here because he was well past point of rust anyway.
Granted the number to be eliminated is six combined points or nine counting Buffalo and not their games in hand.
Is it a huge deal DiPietro or another goalie is starting? Not really, but the choice should be ride Montoya until the club is eliminated or until the Atlanta home game where the schedule picks up. There are two more days off in Florida after tonight before facing Tampa Bay.
Also have to expect if Streit and Weight are on the trip skating they have to be getting very close to participating in a game if that is part of their plan for this season.
As for the teams play, sure Cam Ward kept Carolina in the game, but where was the team before the Devils game that put clubs away in the third? The Canes outworked and out-skated them, Moulson's pp shot was only quality chance in third and may have given Islanders the 3-1 goal, but the team should expect more from itself besides hanging on if it's about building something.
Nice sign is Nielsen is scoring a few at even strength. Okposo has to give them something in terms of goals. Did not like Jurcina on Canes first goal where he was badly out of position.
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