This was for the dogs. A joke. I mean, are you kidding me? Am I supposed to write about this, reportedly the worst loss in Islanders history? I assume Cam Ward will do the honorable thing and decline credit for the shutout on 12 shots.
When they came out flat at 3-0, I thought, "Alright, they're flat, whatever. Tavares." But then when they didn't even bother to make it a game, and avoided hitting anyone, and watched the uncontested goals just pile up like mundane similes in a Jay Greenberg column, and made this charade look like a scrimmage in a fantasy camp -- well, then I actually got a little pissed off.
The Hurricanes are ridiculously hot lately, but come on -- the Isles could have gotten through the end of the season without dropping a pile of disgrace like this, rolling over and playing dead for their Carolina masters. The roster is AHL-infused and Injury-ravaged (tonight Blake Comeau broke his wrist), yes -- but that's been the case this entire season.
Only Joel Rechlicz put up a fight, literally, and that was even a wrong-headed instigator that got him tossed for a 10-minute misconduct. The Islanders only drew two penalties out of the Canes -- the Conboy fighting major and a meaningless trip with three minutes left in the game.
As we've noted before, for a 30th-place team, the Islanders have actually steered clear of blowouts most of this season. There was just the 7-2 post-Thanksgiving loss in Boston; the 9-2, double-hat trick disgrace in Pittsburgh, and the ugly 6-2 home losses to Carolina and to Minnesota. [Edit: Commenter jessef, who saw the aforementioned Carolina game, reminds us that last Thursday's 5-1 loss to Montreal was also uncontested, as he was lucky enough to see that one in person, too.]
But this takes the cake. This immediately enters the lexicon of Milbury-era punch lines that still follow the team around. This is the kind of result that will show up in dependent clauses in otherwise unrelated hockey recaps for the next few weeks. This is the new measuring stick by which all future lopsided Islanders losses will be measured. Bravo.
Apparently Eric Staal had a hat trick -- I sort of tuned out by that point. Neither Yann Danis, who gave up the three goals in the first, nor Joey MacDonald -- who gave up six over the next two -- helped his offseason contract asking price. But, I mean 57-12 in shots? Ummm, that wasn't exactly just goaltending. This was a miserable excuse for a game.
Bravo, boys. Let the jokes and quips flow forth. Tonight the Ghost of Milbury didn't write them for you. Nope, tonight you earned 'em yourselves.