Without Team Defense, Penalty Kill, Goaltending, Fast Start Means Nothing

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/27/2014 09:15:00 AM |
Yes, I would happily accept the teams current record based on the October schedule any way they could get there.

Having written this no one should be happy with this teams defense,  five on five play or penalty killing. No one should be satisfied with soft goals finding Halak in almost every game or the first goal Johnson allowed against Dallas.

It does matter, anyone who feels people should just be happy will understand very soon unless things change dramatically. 

I wonder if they would have a single win without lucking into the Boychuk/Leddy forced salary dumps who are hardly top two defenders? This was not some act of brilliance from Snow.

Yes, the scoring from the defense is a huge factor in the teams record, the one true positive improvement, but the career resume's of those players say it's not built to last beyond Nick Leddy's potential. 

The best upcoming teams always learn to become better as a season progresses, so far on defense as a team they has not progressed at all with spotty goaltending.

Honestly I saw this team play better team defense last April, scrambling to fill out a lineup card with AHL players. Anders Nilsson/Nabokov were not under this much pressure, some games they won we only saw them allow 20-25 shots without sustained pressure against. 

It's a very small group of forwards, which explains why three of the more physical forwards in Martin, Cizikas, and Clutterbuck are seeing so many extra minutes not to score. 

Bottom line until they learn to win 3-2 (not the game in Boston they were under attack and Johnson stole the last five minutes) or 2-1, 1-0 as they did in April 2013 with low shot totals against, this is not how you become a successful team long term.

It's not how you make the playoffs and win.

A year ago everyone was writing about the Islanders thirty percent power-play. Guess what? It's not the 1980's and teams cannot sustain that any longer.

When the scoring dries up, the 5-3 wins become 3-1 losses which is why we have seen so many average or fair at best Octobers become season ending Novembers.

It's not a good five on five team so far, that rarely sustains a forecheck in the other teams zone. 

This team has no first line left wing, and nothing remaining to trade for one. This roster is always injured like few in the NHL, and every single coach is telling his players hit Tavares all night, double team him if necessary, just don't let him beat us.

What I do know is beating a tired Dallas team that got lazy, took shortcuts, started gambling to risk odd man rushes, with many shots that went through their goalie is not how you sustain anything.

It was like beating the Coyotes last October 6-2, where they broke the game open in the third period.

That 20-6-2 road record in last 28 games with no back to back regulation losses since Dec 7th 2013, is about to be tested. Before that they lost eleven games in a row on the road.

Unless they become a team that can play defense, keep pressure off goaltenders and kill penalties, this fast start will be only a memory.