The game New York played their best hockey was the one where they got no points.
Win or lose Sunday, I was very satisfied with the second half of this game by the Islanders.
New York played two poor games in Canada, four points.
New York played two better (not great games in Florida) one win, which should have been two, despite Montoya falling/Martin St Louis missing an open net. Roloson played well, the Isles were in control Saturday with momentum, but the game got away from them.
Our comments on the Tampa game are on twitter.
Florida for it's make-shift roster has size, speed the Isles lack and some more hitting, that's par for most teams the Isles play. The Panthers have earned their standing as a first place team.
After the opening night disaster the Isles played in Florida, Jacob Markstrom stole that game in relief for the Panthers in the third period for those who recall.
On this day, Andrew MacDonald (especially Parenteau like in Tampa) did not have his man on the opening goal, the Isles were scrambling a bit early in the game, but did also get some early pressure, they did not have the extra step.
Florida was hardly good themselves on this day.
Then a funny thing happened with less than eight minutes left in the second, the Isles had a shift where they dominated play, kept the puck in for longer than it seemed they had any team pinned in all season. That concluded with an outside Okposo shot that Theodore saw with no screen (a common theme in this game for the Isles) but the game did change from that point.
From there, the Isles dominated. Moulson converted on a pp, it seemed a matter of when before the Isles got the lead.
Then the common third period theme of a break/breakdown and it's 2-1 Florida, Nabokov's reaction said it all, he had to stop it regardless of the board bounce.
On this day the breaks evened out as Okposo's pass to Sreit, found Dmitry Kulikov's stick, who deflected it past Theodore 2-2.
Isles closed third/overtime out skating very well, obviously Theodore's sweep/check with the stick look like it was thrown.
From there New York won the skills competition.
What stood out in this game for me was the Isles had the five on three pp, Jucina took a bomb from the outside, no one screening (or near) Theodore, which happened a few times.
Ullstrom was very good and kept driving the net, Martin did that once, this team needs a lot more of that. Okposo again had a little more jump. Jurcina looked motivated to stay in the lineup.
Tavares looked tired with no extra step in this game, he still had his chances.
Niederreiter should never sit for Pandolfo/Reasoner. Enough's been written on it.
What was disappointing is it took half a game to really start challenging Florida's defense or pushing the play at them.
In the end folks only remember the final season standings, the Isles have six of eight points on a five game trip that concludes in Pittsburgh.
The best game they played they got no points.
New York heads to Pittsburgh for a home & home. The numbers are what they are, but if history has taught us anything when teams peak too early, it balances out.
Ottawa broke their streak with eight goals, Sunday they came home and defeated New Jersey.
First time in Pittsburgh the Isles lost in a shootout, where DiPietro replaced Nabokov for the skills contest. Unlike recent years this one has been a problem vs Pittsburgh at home.
Broke their long regulation/overtime/shootout losing streak Sunday with Matt Donovan's pp goal in overtime in a game for a shot at first place. Kevin Poulin needed to make over forty saves, in a game the Sound Tigers were short-handed a lot.
Their playoff hold is a mix of Ottawa/Florida.