3/12/12

Outnumbered In Standings & Around Puck

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/12/2012 07:37:00 AM
From the entries after the first games back in October, to 12/27/11: New York A Limited/Mediocre Team there is little new left to write.

New York easily could have had four points this weekend, forget that.

This is about how you play a sixty minute game, how the New York Islanders respond when the pressure is on them.

Whether this be Saturday's terrible loss, Nabokov forced to make an incredible save in Boston to preserve a win, it all comes back to the same trends that have defined the 2011-12 season.

The takeaway from both weekend games was watching this team outnumbered around the puck, dominated for large stretches of both games.

I don't care that the Isles led 1-0 until the final two minutes on Saturday, or that Anders Nilsson for as well as he played gave up a poor goal to tie the game.

Virtually every battle along on the boards or every rush the Devils would have three players against two, or two players against one competing for the puck.

Or like most games this season another team would have a box of four players moving faster as a unit, against fewer Islanders, to say nothing of the size/physical differential some clubs present.

The Isles got their odd-man chances when the Devils turned over the puck or made their own mistakes, Niederreiter, Moulson, Haley could have scored, but little sustained pressure was what stood out the most.

Watch Tavares goal against the Devils, he got inside a circle of five players, leading up to it Okposo was outnumbered on the wall but puck got to Moulson.

No, the Devils were not very good either. If Hedberg is not sharp the Isles win going away, but again the Devils had the extra man in the play and that's why they dictated play.

The story was generally the same on Sunday besides being the latest team playing the night before (since 2/12) heading to the Cablevision Garden for another chess match with the Ranger defensive system as they have their own obvious struggles.

If another shot bounced past their goaltender in regulation or overtime, what's improving when your team is chasing the puck or outnumbered for large parts of another game?

Brad Richards has been terrible for them, he's slow, easy to defend, and still he went up the middle and the Isles backed off, plus they allowed him a pp goal on a shot not much better than Brian Rolston has elected to take from the outside.

Bottom line the New York Islanders have had worse weekends for sure this season, they did compete hard in both games and could have won both, but the story is the same since opening night against Florida as the peripheral names change, but the pace of most games do not.

-46 rating, with the most blocked shots in the NHL with goaltending that for the most part has been very good most games.

The numbers are not there, around the puck or in the standings.
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Owen SoundSun Times: Mike Halmo explains why the New York Islanders were his choice among several interested NHL organizations.

"There were some other teams in the mix and it just came down to the best opportunity for me to play NHL hockey," said Halmo.

"My family and and my agent and myself looked at all my options. The Islanders are a great organization to go to."

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