The Islanders Informer
by William Morrison on 10/09/11 at 02:36 PM ET
The Coliseum was rockin’. The fans were ready. The season ticket holders who have had season tickets for all 40 seasons were at center ice for puck drop. The hype was there. The expectations were justified. The team did a great job with the player introductions. But, there was one thing missing. The team forgot there was a hockey game to be played. They didn’t show up. There is no excuse.
There is no excuse for being flat after storming onto the ice in front of a sellout crowd, having no legs under you, and not being competitive. The Islanders showed no heart last night. The Islanders brass spent the offseason shoring up their core and making sure that Mark Streit was going to be 100% healthy at the start of the season. The Islanders had everyone healthy and everyone had a pretty decent training camp. It is one thing to come out flat in the second game of a back-to-back. It is a completely different thing to come out flat in the first game of the season.
I don’t want to make too much of one game, but there were very few positives to take out of last night’s game for the Islanders in a 2-0 loss to the Florida Panthers at Nassau Coliseum. The Coliseum was as loud as it has been in a long, long time. I don’t know who deserves the most blame. The players are obviously the ones who ultimately need to go out and perform on the ice. If you need extra motivation to get pumped up for the first game of the season, then you need to be playing a different sport. The team looked slow, like they didn’t want to be on the ice, and like they weren’t very well conditioned and ready for the season.
Hopefully the team just had a bad game. If the Isles play 81 more games like the one last night, it will be a very, very long season.
Positives: Brian Rolston was very aggressive shooting the puck. Every time that Rolston received a pass on the point, he was looking to shoot and throw the puck at the net. The Isles younger players need to learn that getting the puck on net is the only way to score goals. Rolston led the Islanders with five shots on goal and he directed many, many more towards the net. Streit looked like he was 100% healthy and played almost 25 minutes of ice time. Michael Grabner looked as fast as ever and created a few really good scoring chances. If Grabner gets the puck on the wing, watch out. Veteran Steve Staios showed why he made the team. Staios was solid on the blueline and played a very aggressive, competitive game. Staios mixed it up when he needed to in front of the net and protected Montoya all night.
Negatives: I know that Andrew MacDonald was coming off of an injury, but he looked out of position for most of the game. MacDonald frequently turned the puck over, wasn’t strong on the puck when he did have it, and was caught out of position in a few instances that gave Florida good scoring chances. Mike Mottau needs to learn how to stay out of the penalty box. Mottau took three bad, bad penalties. Two of Mottau’s penalties were within five minutes of each other in the first period and gave the Panthers some momentum. If Mottau is going to spend the season in the penalty box, he needs to be a healthy scratch for the majority of the season. The Islanders took seven penalties in total, leading to one Panthers power play goal.
The Islanders play the Minnesota Wild in a 1 PM matinee matchup tomorrow afternoon at Nassau Coliseum. Hopefully the team will remember to show up.
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About The Islanders Informer
Welcome to The Islanders Informer. TII will be a forum for discussion, debate, and both Islander and hockey related news.
I'm an attorney by day and hockey fan by night. I'm always open to feedback, suggestions, agreements, disagreements, opinions, and discussion.