Don't let the score fool you, this was a blowout in the making from the first minute. After receiving praise from the MSG pregame show, Travis Hamonic made a poor pass in his own zone and Andrew MacDonald had trouble playing Daniel Alfredsson after the resulting turnover. So 1-0 Sens just 32 seconds in. The Isles continued to look dead, Kevin Poulin was pulled after a short-side goal made it 2-0, the Isles got one back to make it 2-1 after the first. But that was a mirage. The second period brought more of the same.
The Islanders wasted three consecutive powerplays, Nathan Lawson was victim to a shorthanded 2-on-1 goal, and a man left uncontested in the slot ... 6-2 before you could blink. Lawson wasn't the goat, but he didn't look great either. Poulin came back in to start the third; yet the goaltending swaps were just a distraction from a full-team rollover.
At least Trevor Gillies scored his first NHL goal. And Blake Comeau potted one after the Senators let him have three cracks at it. And in the third, to mimic signs of life, P.A. Parenteau scored and Milan Jurcina made it 6-4 on an absolute bullet, and...too little, too late. If the Islanders want TSN anchors not to depict them as doormats, they need to not follow it up by playing like ... doormats. (To be fair, Zenon Konopka, who lodged that complaint, was one of few who came out ready.)
Notes from the Drubbing
- Jack Capuano threw Trevor Gilies-Konopka-Matt Martin out at the end of an awful powerplay again, twice (for just a total of 21 seconds). Message sent. And it was Konopka's sweet backhand pass to the crease that set up Gillies' goal. Of course, when your fourth line is your best line through two periods, your other lines are playing like doormats.
- Lots of that kind of message sending -- and the quick goalie pulls -- lately; I don't think the message is being received. The Islanders continue to come out flat at the start of games, and being reminded that they've left their goalie out to dry doesn't seem to change the behavior.
- After the Islanders made the scoreboard more cosmetically appealing, Capuano pulled Poulin (again; he replaced Lawson to start the third) early, with a little over 2:30 left. But the Isles soon took a penalty, Matt Moulson with a stick hook on the backcheck, and that ended that.
- I would pick on individual players here and there, but don't much have the energy: Several forwards were too cute and too lazy on the backcheck. Lawson hardly takes the blame on most of his goals against but didn't make any big saves to stem the tide (Poulin, on the other hand, made a few in the first and third).
- By the end, the top two lines had created some chances (Tavares's line generating two goals, Comeau and Josh Bailey generating one at 4-on-4), but it's hard to completely credit them when every line had a hand in making that unfinished comeback necessary.
- Incidentally, Because the Isles got three back, Lawson was docked for the loss. 4 GA on 19 shots for him, 2 GA on 19 shots for Poulin.
- A few stat oddities -- by the end, several Isles had impressive Corsis despite being outshot 38-24 overall, and every center won the majority of his faceoffs (64% overall, with even Bailey at 5-4, but also Tavares at 15-6).
Miraculously, we actually had a FIG winner as BCISLEMAN was the only one (all year?) to pick Gillies.
Comment of the Night
As the Isles struggled to both come back and wrest control of play in the third:
Stick in hand, fog machines working overtime, the Great Dane alights upon the ice…his time is now!
Okay, a blowout at heart if not on the final scoreboard. Don't burn that file, but at least bury it in the back of the cabinet.