This will stir ire among one segment of Islanders fans: Doug Weight left the game five minutes into the second with a groin strain, and the Islanders "attack" was shutout 1-0 by Nashville's Pekka Rinne. The ire will come via the inevitable suggestions that Weight's groin injury (and Trent Hunter's, too?) is caused by Scott Gordon's go-go "overspeed" philosophy -- even though Weight, more than any other Islander, picks his spots for when to burn and when to "overglide" (In a good way. The man logs 20 minutes a night at age 37).
How players' bodies handle (and train for) Gordon's system is a worthy question -- it's just not one that can be answered after a mere 30 games of data from this mix-and-match lineup.
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Regardless, the Islanders' top forward is hurt, and if he misses any time beyond this game, well, the song remains the same: Along with Mark Streit, Weight has been key to the Islanders power play, and the power play has been the Islander offense's only splash of water in a vast desert of futility. So it goes when you're on a nine-game losing streak (0-8-1). Mike Comrie, welcome back: now take Weight's prime minutes and make something of them.
On the bright side (yes, we'll still look for those), the effort was at least better than the clunker in St. Paul the night before. Still needed Joey MacDonald to be stellar -- which he was -- and still didn't mount much of an attack. But tonight youngsters like Kyle Okposo, Josh Bailey and even Sean Bergenheim showed life that was sorely lacking from most of the lineup against the Wild. Oh, and the Islanders weren't blown away in the shot department (28-23) -- though a look at shots attempted and Corsi numbers paints a much worse picture.
Andy Sutton replacement Joe Callahan handled himself well in 19 minutes -- 2 minutes more than Thomas Pock, thankfully. Blake Comeau is still a work in progress, but at least he was chosen over sitting Mitchell Fritz for the entire game.
The Isles still play once more before Christmas -- Tuesday at home to Atlanta. If Weight isn't ready to go for that one, we are truly going to see Youth on Ice.