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The Islanders Informer

The Isles Have A Lot To Work On

This early in the season every team has something to work on.  The goal for every team is to get better every game.  Every team wants to play hard every night and learn from their mistakes.  After the first few games this season, the Isles had a lot to work on.  Nothing much has changed since then.

First of all, there is no excuse for a team to come out flat night after night after night.  If a player needs motivation to play hard every night, then they don’t need to be playing in the National Hockey League.  Last night, in a 4-2 road loss to the Florida Panthers, the Islanders came out flat once again.  It’s not like the Isles were playing the second game of a back-to-back.  They had one full day off between games and only had to travel from Tampa to Sunrise, Florida.  The Isles came out really flat on opening night and also were flat in a win against the Minnesota Wild two days later.  The Isles played much better during a three game winning streak, but have come out without their legs under them in games against the Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers.  If the Isles continue to come out flat game after game, it will be a long season and changes will need to be made.

The Isles need secondary scoring and need it fast.  The two goals last night were scored by John Tavares and Mark Streit.  The Islanders top line has scored all but five of the goals scored this season.  Jack Capuano needs to start mixing up the lines with the hopes of finding the right combinations that click.  The second, third, and fourth lines aren’t even creating quality scoring chances.

Another thing the Isles need to work on is throwing the puck at the net.  You can’t score goals without shooting the puck.  With the exception of the Isles top line, individual players are trying to do too much when they have the puck.  The Isles just simply aren’t playing as a team.  Part of this could be attributed to coaching, but ultimately the players need to be held accountable.  The Isles have plenty of leadership, so I don’t believe that is part of the problem.

It is tough what to make of Josh Bailey.  He was expected to have a bounce back season after re-signing just before the season started.  Bailey only has four shots on goal in six games this season.  He has zero points and is a -1.  Last night against the Panthers, Bailey only registered one shot on goal and generated nothing at all offensively.  Bailey needs to pick it up soon or being a healthy scratch for a few games may be in the very near future. 

The whole team, with the exception of the top line, needs to be sent a lesson.  I don’t know whether this lesson needs to come from the coaching staff, the captain, or the other players, but it needs to come from someone and needs to come soon.

The Islanders host the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday night and then travel to Pittsburgh on Thursday night.  The Isles then return home on Saturday night for a tilt against the San Jose Sharks.

Follow me on Twitter @TheIsleInformer.

Filed in: New York Islanders, | The Islanders Informer | Permalink
  Tags: john+tavares, josh+bailey, mark+streit

Comments

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With a slow and shallow defense things are not going to get better very quickly.  This was a glaring need in the offseason and won’t be addressed until the AHL defenseman get some reps.

You can’t generate any offense if the defense barely outraces the forecheck and the forwards are constantly being asked to carry the puck out of the zone or wait for a puck to be banged off the boards just to get it out.  There is a reason the PAP,Tavares, Moulson line is looking so much better, they have Streit moving the puck and compensating for a slow Staois.  Eaton and Mottau or 6/7 defenseman at best, AMAC has regressed so far and that leaves only Hamonic picking up any of Streit’s slack.

If the Islander D is able to support the rush, there may actually be more opportunity to generate secondary scoring, and their lack of foot speed means there is no hope of them challenging pucks to keep it in the zone and get additional offensive zone faceoffs.

Posted by hockey1919 from mid-atlantic on 10/24/11 at 10:32 AM ET

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hockey 1919-I agree.  I think one of the biggest reasons for the lack of secondary scoring so far is MacDonald not playing up to the level he played at last season.  After the season MacDonald had last year, it was expected that him and Hamonic would be a strong 1A pair behind Streit.  With 27 points in 60 games last season, the Isles were expected big strides from MacDonald this season.  If he picks it up and Hamonic plays well, the second and third lines will start producing.  If MacDonald starts producing even minimally offensively as well, that will help the second line production.  You are exactly right, without puck moving defensemen, too much will be asked of the forwards and that makes the job of the opponents D-men that much easier.

Posted by William Morrison on 10/24/11 at 10:50 AM ET

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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. 

Feel free to email me with any suggestions or comments at williamvmorrison@gmail.com.  Follow me on Twitter  @TheIsleInformer.