The Islanders Informer
by William Morrison on 10/11/11 at 09:10 AM ET
The Islanders rebounded from a lackluster performance on Saturday night with a nice 2-1 effort against the Minnesota Wild yesterday afternoon. The team looked fired up and played a good, competitive hockey game. If the team plays the remaining 80 games with the energy they had on Monday afternoon and they stay healthy, the Isles are poised to make a run at the playoffs in the competitive Eastern Conference.
I don’t know what Jack Capuano said to the team after Saturday night’s loss, but it certainly worked. The Isles dominated the first period and went into the first intermission with a 2-0 lead. The Islanders held on for a 2-1 win after taking eight minor penalties in the game. The Islanders need to be more disciplined on the ice and need to stop taking bad penalties.
Defenseman Travis Hamonic played great on the penalty kill in helping the Islanders to hold the Wild to only four total shots on the eight power play opportunities. Hamonic led the Islanders in ice time with a very solid 23 minutes. Hamonic is still only 21 years old and is going to be a really good top-2 defenseman in the NHL. It will be great to watch his development in the seasons to come.
Andrew MacDonald played a great game after not looking like he had his legs under him on Saturday night. MacDonald played much better defensively, was in better position, and had a great game moving the puck. MacDonald notched the first goal of the game on a blast from the point on the first Islanders power play. Travis Hamonic and PA Parenteau assisted on MacDonald’s goal. MacDonald also was huge on the penalty kill and registered over five minutes of shorthanded ice time.
The Islanders second goal was a thing of beauty. Mark Streit possessed the puck at the point and fired a pass to Frans Nielsen, who quickly shot the puck past Wild goalie Nicklas Backstrom.
This game wiped out all of the fears that Islander fans were left with after Saturday night’s atrocity. The team played a collectively solid game. They still have a lot to build on, but this was a nice first win for the Islanders. Of course this was only the second game of the season, so there are definitely a lot of things to work on, but this was definitely a step in the right direction.
The Islanders next play on Thursday when a very good Tampa Bay Lightning team comes to town. It will be very interesting to see who starts in net for the Isles on Thursday. Somewhat surprisingly, Al Montoya has started both games so far this season. Montoya has looked very, very solid in goal and there are no reasons to think that he might not be given every opportunity to win the number one job.
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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.