Failing to win on the road, a lament once aired under Scott Gordon and indeed aired by most struggling teams, is one angle on the Islanders' current losing ways. They've gone 0-7-2 on the road dating back to March.
Another angle is the frequent appearance, win or loss, of "passengers" in the vernacular of Jack Capuano. Each loss seems to escalate the rhetoric in that department, none moreso than last night's disappointing display in Vancouver, their seventh regulation loss of the not-young-for-much-longer season:
"Something has to change ... We can't have guys continue to lose and be comfortable to be in the lineup. [NHL.com] ... "I wish we had three guys coming up" (instead of just Nino Niederreiter) [Newsday].
Whether you read that as an indictment of the players, the GM who supplies them, or the coach who is supposed to get them to "show up" is your call. It reads to me like the last days before changes are made, the coach having sent repeated, increasingly critical warnings that roster spots are not safe, and happy-fun times don't last when you don't win.
That NHL.com link had plenty of views from both sides.
Newsday had some different quotes, including that "wish we had three guys coming up" line.
Before the game, Newsday's Arthur Staple spoke to some of the defense about communication. (If only you could communicate mobility.)
The Skinny: The Islanders have had 12 powerplays in their last five games. And that sure ain't the refs' fault.
Vancouver Angle: Nucks Misconduct's recap, and scoring chances from their end | The Islanders' visit was just what the Canucks needed to get over NHL .500, sadly. | Globe and Mail: Canucks dispatch "impotent" Isles.
- Fornabaio had running updates from yesterday's 4-3 Bridgeport win over Hershey, their 10th consecutive one-goal game.
- Here is his full recap: "Anders Nilsson basically won us the game" with his 34 saves, said Brent Thompson. David Ullstrom has scored in six games in a row, one off Jeff Tambellini's club record.
- This has been linked several places, but here's the Micheal Haley fight with the guy who took out Calvin De Haan. And here's Puck Daddy elaborating.
- And if you missed it, Mark's Sunday roundup of prospect updates from the AHL on down.
- On PK faceoffs: Todd McLellan: "Winning two faceoffs on the power-play virtually guarantees you won't get scored on." - Arctic Ice Hockey
- Hilarious digest of thoughts from a boy's first Leafs game.
- Here's where you vote for All-Stars and such.
- Is medical theory what's causing players to be extra super-duper cautious before returning from their first concussion?
- Tom Renney has done some sort of about-face in how he uses his lines and shelters his kids this year.
Three home games this week, with three hot teams. Sean Avery thinks "good Avery" is back. Nino plays his first NHL game of the season tomorrow. So for fans, a shiny new toy, lineup changes, and maybe ice cream afterward.