The Islanders Informer
by William Morrison on 11/04/11 at 05:19 PM ET
In a 3-0 loss to the Winnipeg Jets last night, the Islanders managed 34 shots on goal, but failed to get one past goalie Ondrej Pavelec. I give full credit to a stellar performance by Pavelec, but eventually the Islanders need to put the puck in the net. Having 34 shots on goal is certainly an improvement over the lackluster performances over the last few games, but in order to win games you have to score goals.
Jack Capuano hinted after the game that he was thinking about switching up the lines for the Isles game on Saturday against the Washington Capitals. Capuano probably should have done this a few games ago, but now is not the time to switch up the third line. While the third line of Blake Comeau, Josh Bailey, and Brian Rolston struggled mightily through the first nine games, last night the line looked like they were starting to mesh. The third line was the best line last night and now is not the time to switch Comeau, Bailey, and Rolston around as they are finally starting to form some chemistry.
As far as the Isles other lines go, that is a different story. While the Isles first line of Matt Moulson, John Tavares, and PA Parenteau was the Isles best line through the first five or six games, they have struggled in the last two games. Doing some shuffling between the first line and the second line of Kyle Okposo, Frans Nielsen, and Michael Grabner wouldn’t be such a bad idea at this point. The Isles are doing nothing offensively and Capuano has nothing to lose by trying to shuffle up the lines. Hopefully for Isles fans, the impending return of Nino Niederreiter will be a welcome addition that will give the team an offensive spark.
The Caps come to Long Island with an 8-2 record and 16 points on the young season. The Islanders schedule doesn’t get any easier over the next couple of weeks. After hosting Washington on Saturday night, the Islanders embark on a three game road trip that takes them to Boston, Colorado, and Vancouver and then they return to Long Island for three home games against the Rangers, Canadiens, and Bruins.
The collective goaltending between Al Montoya, Evgeni Nabokov, and Rick DiPietro has been pretty solid so far this season. Goaltending hasn’t been the problem during the current six game losing streak. Al Montoya should get the start in net against the Caps. Montoya had a very strong start to the season, but hasn’t played in the past five games. I don’t care if there are three great goalies on an NHL roster, there is no possible way for any one of them to gain any rhythm or consistency. Each goalie simply doesn’t get enough consistent playing time. The Islanders need to decide soon which two goalies they are going to keep on the NHL roster and they need to stick to that decision. I think Montoya certainly has the talent and determination to win the #1 job-he just needs to be given consistent playing time.
The Isles are currently tied for last in the Eastern Conference with eight points. After ten games, the team has a lot to work on, but at this point they should focus on improving on a game-by-game basis.
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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.