So do we double-down after Saturday, again beating up an Islander team that won, despite giving up a season low in shots against, plus closing out the game very well?
With respect to PA Parenteau, who made an excellent rush, or Moulson to give the Isles the 3-2 lead with his usual great work in front, it was far from a good team effort against a tired club that lost 8-0 the night before.
I watched the 2010-11 New York Islanders play out the second half and came away convinced that very hard working team was something built to last, despite the late season wave of continued injuries before they finally fell back.
I see nothing happening here aside from the natural progression of individuals, or anything positive on a team level that will carry over to 2012-13.
The Isles breakdowns were noticeable, the Leafs having the extra man around the pucks in the walls/corners stood out the most even when they did not get shots.
Both New York goals before Moulson scored illustrate where I'm going.
Center Josh Bailey returned from injury and was placed on right wing, where he scored some recent goals and many started forgetting he is a center. Now the last two games he's on left wing where he started as a rookie?
Despite Tavares feeding Bailey for a nice finish, how is this good for him moving forward?
David Ullstrom broke in as a center. This blog asked earlier why is he coming up to play left wing? We were told he was switched there by Bridgeport, the Isles played him as a left wing before his concussion.
Now the last few games Ullstrom is playing right wing which begs the question why? Who cares that Grabner made a nice poke check and he tapped in his centering pass.
That is not progress for Ullstrom, just as it was not progress to move Matt Martin to right wing for a few shifts recently.
I fail to understand this kind of coaching, many other former Islander coaches played forwards on off-wing, it never worked.
It's not a new NHL concept or only about the Islanders.
Bottom line this club has to get better on the walls, they have to get more numbers around the puck and work as a unit. Moving players off their natural position and switching them around usually brings a franchise nothing but confused players and a team that does not read or react well.
That means many games you are chasing the puck, or outnumbered.
When you are small, slow, not very physical, with a low scoring defense it's just another obstacle for these kids.
It's kind of the same philosophy you use with Hamonic-MacDonald, put them together and leave them alone unless one get's hurt, don't make one play the opposite side.
Sorry folks, that is what stood out most in the 5-2 win.
Okposo worked hard early, when he got hurt he did seem to fade. When Tavares hit the boards hard making his usual brilliant move it made me wonder should he be playing any more twenty minute games at this age?
The fourth line goals against were on breakdowns, to put that on one player would not be fair but it begs the question why not put Reasoner in the stands if simply to balance the forward lines?
Despite the late pp goal, it did not look good watching Streit skate right into two Leafs in front of his own net.
Bridgeport plays Wednesday.