That was really awful in many ways -- turns out the Panthers are fast and voraciously convert when you give them a half-dozen free breakaways -- so the temptation is to throw it out like the Montreal game. I'm sure they will, as they have to
look past this get ready for the Rangers home-and-home Wednesday and Thursday.
But other than throwing their bodies around in the first ten minutes, the Islanders didn't play their game and let the Panthers force them into poor breakouts and desperate low-percentage passing. Bruno Gervais' awful turnover helped start the Cats on their way. Mark Streit's -- on the powerplay -- helped send it all the way to make it 3-1 just when the Isles had a chance to tie.
The ugliest part was how they came out and gave up two goals in the first minute of the third, to make it 5-1. Add a Nathan Horton hat trick and a pull of Dwayne Roloson and I was kind of numb the rest of the way. I do recall that Jesse Joensuu got his 2nd NHL goal, after a great play by Trent Hunter. That was nice. Rob Schremp was credited with a generous assist on the play.
These blowouts will happen, particularly with below-average teams who possess a thin margin of error. Tonight, that thin margin spiraled, and you could feel them taking a pass and looking onward to the rivalry games later this week (How tired are you of that being an issue ... even if it's not in this case?). Presumably, they'll show up for those.
Philadelphia won, the Rangers made it to the shootout round, and of course the Cats got their two points to tighten up the dregs of the standings all the more.
Vent or analyze here (or continue the game thread strings), but that's about all I can say for this one at the moment. [Note: Per tradition, video highlights from nhl.com are after the jump. Amusingly, the NHL clip package for this game features just three saves and zero hits. Yeah, that's about right.]