Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Michael Russo of the Star Tribune,
The locker room was silent and crestfallen — a common postgame environment lately for the imploding Wild.
But this time, it was different. Stunned players sat with blank “What just happened?” looks after the Wild, in desperate need of a victory, somehow blew a three-goal lead at home Sunday night to a New York Islanders team that is near the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings, played the night before and deployed its backup goalie.
Wild players were booed off the ice by many of the announced 18,851 irritated spectators after the 5-4 loss. The besieged coach had a hard time finding words. The scrutinized captain didn’t know what to say either.
“There’s no explanations,” said Mikko Koivu, who assisted on goals by Jonas Brodin and Nino Niederreiter on back-to-back, first-line shifts to give the Wild a 3-0 lead only 2 minutes, 59 seconds into the second period. “It just can’t happen. If you ask what happened, I really don’t know right now. I don’t want to say things that I don’t mean.”
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is King.
If this means the Islanders represent the Battle of New York Royalty in the wake of their 5-3 victory over the Rangers at the Garden on Friday night, then so be it, for the position on our town’s hockey throne has been at least temporarily vacated by Henrik Lundqvist....
Three of the four against him — the fifth was an empty-netter — dribbled through, one on a penalty shot. For the first time in his career, Lundqvist has allowed three goals or more in seven straight starts. He is 10-15-2 with a plebian 2.77 GAA and .905 save percentage.
“I’m not doing my job,” Lundqvist told The Post. “It’s my job to clean up the mistakes and I’m not doing that.
“When we come into the room, all we can ask of one another as teammates is for everyone to work hard and for everyone to care,” he said. “I know I’m doing that, but it’s very difficult not to help my team the way I want to. It’s very disappointing.”
Clutterbuck scores on the penalty shot, which happened while the Islanders were short-handed.
The Isles also added another short-handed goal to lead 2-1 after the first period.
from Arthur Staple of Newsday,
Nine times in 35 games.
That’s 25.7 percent of the Islanders’ season, over a quarter of the time they hit the ice -- that’s how often they have blown a third-period lead.
Four of those were two-goal leads, like Tuesday night. In three of them, the Islanders have allowed the tying goal in the final minute of regulation -- like Tuesday night.
A remarkable eight of those nine have been on home ice -- like Tuesday night. That’s eight games out of 18 at the Coliseum, almost half of their games so far.
Say what you want about this team -- that they’re not talented enough, that their defense is subpar, that they aren’t good enough to win regularly -- but they were good enough to be ahead deep into nine of these games and ended up winning two of them.
They are 2-2-5 in those games. If they hold four of these leads, then the Islanders are no better and no worse than the bulk of the Metro Division.
The After Forty segment of HNIC discussed it may be time for George Parros to hang up his skates.
But Don Cherry during the post-game segment of HNIC did not like the suggestion a few of the panel members made, watch it below...
My question, why fight at that point of the game?
No update on Parros at this point...
Katie Strang of ESPN hosted an online chat today...
Were you surprised by AVs response to the question about his roster after the game last night ? And does it send a shot across Sathers bow ?
Katie Strang I think it was designed to send a message to his players more than anything honestly. I think he's becoming increasingly frustrated/exasperate with how to motivate them. I honestly did not interpret that as a veiled plea or slam of Sather in any way. But I am skeptical that the Rangers are capable of playing the type of offensive-minded game he wants. This team thrived under Tortorella because of a defensively-structured, blue-collar grinding style. They have no discernible identity now, it seems.
It's clear that the Islanders, owned by Wang and run by Snow, have no interest in winning nor will anyone be held accountable for repeated failures within the organization. Is a sale of the team the only way out for Islanders fans?
Katie Strang Honestly? Yes, I think so. It's easy to call for Capuano's head or pile onto the players but ultimately, the problems begin at the top and the onus falls on Charles Wang. He's never shown the true commitment to providing the team with the necessary funds and supports necessary to build a franchise in the right way. Snow isn't off the hook, either, for he has mismanaged his fair share and committed some costly gaffes, but he is handcuffed by Wang to a certain degree. I truly believe it will be continue to be Groundhogs Day for this team until ownership switches hands.
from Arthur Staple of Newsday,
The 3-0 defeat was the Islanders' ninth straight loss in regulation on the road, matching a total not hit since the 1998-99 season. They are winless (0-7-2) in their last nine, six points away from seventh in the Metro Division and 10 points out of the last playoff spot.
The players kept the locker room door closed at the Staples Center for 10 minutes after the game, throwing the floor open to anyone who wanted to speak. "It was just guys talking, trying to talk some things out," Colin McDonald said. "We're just looking for anything to get us out of this."
Islanders owner Charles Wang was on hand, flying in to see his team play before attending the NHL's Board of Governors meeting Monday in San Jose. There are no indications from Wang or general manager Garth Snow that a coaching change is imminent, but something has to change for this team.
"It's a broken record right now," Matt Carkner said.
from Arthur Staple of Newsday,
The cities change, the arenas and the opponents change, but the Islanders' inability to play well on the road has stayed constant.
The Islanders allowed the game's final four goals in a 5-1 loss to the Blues, the Isles' eighth straight loss away from home (all in regulation) and their eighth straight game without a win (0-6-2).
"There should be some pride in here," John Tavares said after another exasperating night dropped the Islanders to 8-16-5, the furthest they have been below .500 since finishing the 2010-11 season at 30-39-13.
"We need to have a lot more pride," Tavares said. "You're playing in the NHL . . . We proved a lot last year, but that doesn't mean you're going to just keep climbing. We're not earning it."
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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