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Islanders Gameday: Eight Stages of Losing

<strong>40 and Fabulous:</strong> Last night I watched an NHL game and a senior league match broke out.
40 and Fabulous: Last night I watched an NHL game and a senior league match broke out.

Look at the NHL standings today and (actually, don't; bad idea) you'll see Anaheim in 7th overall and San Jose all the way down in 22nd, five points back. But watch the Ducks' last two games -- their eeked-out win over the Isles last night and their eeked-out OT win in San Jose the night before -- and you get a different impression entirely. The Ducks' goal differential is -8 (44-52), the Sharks' is +3 (36-33), and that's just the surface. I think I know who is better.

Stripes-square_medium Sjfin_medium
New York Islanders (4-9-2) @ San Jose Sharks (6-5-2)
10:30 p.m. EST | The [PC load letter] Tank | MSG+, audio - WRHU 88.7
Forced into rationalizing rooting for Dan(n)y Heatley: Fear the Fin

Which is to say: Although I thought, against conventional logic (though in line with observers from the Anaheim side), that the Islanders played pretty well last night despite failing to score in a 1-0 loss, we knew they were playing against a poor team on the back half of a back-to-back. That does not give me hope for tonight's contest.

To put it in stat man Eric Hornick's terms: The Islanders allowed their fewest shots against (14) in the Gordon Era (also: this is the earliest in a season they've ever played their 10th road game), but that loss makes this the longest they've gone without a standings point since 1997-98. Six goals is the fewest they've scored in six games since 2006. Someone wake me up when this is over.

Eight Stages of Losing, ca. Fall 2010

Stage 1: Oct. 23, Panthers 4, Islanders 3: You know how the Isles played poorly in Tampa Bay but won? Tonight they played pretty well but lost. Didn't finish early chances, couldn't recover from goaltender error. That's okay, it happens.

Stage 2: Oct. 27, Canadiens 5 (EN), Islanders 3: You know how on the scoreboard this one looks close? It wasn't. The Islanders looked flat and, though they're 2-2 over this stretch, they've played four questionable games in a row.

Stage 3: Oct. 29, Canadiens 3, islanders 1: Okay, that was a far better effort overall than the stinker in Quebec, but still no. Now we have a losing streak. Not cool. There are problems that need correcting and surely they know it.

Stage 4: Oct. 31: Flyers 6, Islanders 1: WTF was that?! DP, stay in the net! Team, show a pulse! Okay, at least now they know they can't half-ass it in this league...

Stage 5: Nov. 3: Hurricanes 7, Islanders 2: *starts wrecking living room. Calls Samsung for replacement TV*

Stage 6: Nov. 4: Senators 4 (EN), Islanders 1: *huddled in a corner, sobbing, clutching #MightyMattMoulson huggy bear* "At least Moulson can finish...{sniff}"

Stage 7: Nov. 6, Flyers 2, Islanders 1: Texted while walking back to liquor store: "OK, 2 wks ago id say wuz a nice effrt but OMG ths iz sily. Dont w8 up 4 me."

Stage 8: Nov. 10, Ducks 1, Islanders 0: So the Ducks are bad and barely showed up while the Isles are bad and gave their best, yet still: 1-freaking-nothing. I SO envy bears their hibernating winters.

Grasping at Straws, 'Cause Straws are All We Got

"It's frustrating, obviously," Isles coach Scott Gordon said to reporters after the game. "We had a great scoring chance right before they scored, we don't cash in on it and they came back and their player made a pretty good shot.

"Like I told our guys, unfortunately, we can't score right now. We had 27 shots on net, we had another 36 that were blocked or missed the net. Sometimes that's an indication that you're trying too hard, looking for the perfect opportunity. The defensive effort we've had the last two games has been great. Eventually the offensive side is going to change for us as long as we continue to play with the kind of effort we had tonight."


  • The Sharks are "struggling" to produce at 5-on-5 with a 1.06 GF/GA ratio. What does that make the Isles' 0.39 figure?
  • Normally I'd automatically figure Dwayne Roloson (.915 SV% so far) gets the night off after playing last night -- but it's not like he was exactly forced to work in Anaheim. No morning skate. With the fragile state of this team right now, I wouldn't use the other guy, but...hey, not my team.
  • The Leafs lost their 7th in a row last night, to the Panthers,! Toronto next plays Saturday vs. Vancouver, the night when the Islanders streak could reach 10, so the Leafs still have some catching up to do. Slackers.
  • Blake Comeau last scored Oct. 11, the Rangers game. Though he played well last night, Josh Bailey last recorded a point Oct. 16, the Avalanche game. We could probably play this game for a while.
  • You know why dogs are cool? Dogs don't go on eight-game losing streaks. Also, if you train them to crash the net they'll actually do it.
  • Diversion, diversion, gimme a diversion: Calvin de Haan collected three assists last night.

I won't be around, but the usual separate in-game comment thread will be up about 30 minutes before gametime tonight, for those who enjoy self-torture. But since that's pretty late, you can also leave your First Islanders Goal (Hahahahahafunny) pick in this thread. Just try to keep 'em together with others wherever you post 'em.