The Islanders were outplayed thoroughly through two periods, giving up scoring chance after scoring chance that left them lucky to be down only 2-1 at the second intermission. At that point they'd been outshot 27-12, Evgeni Nabokov and the first line had done their part to keep it close, and the Islanders hadn't draw a single penalty -- not even so much as a "Aw, come on, ref."
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The third period was something different, as urgency returned -- but not before giving up an insurance goal on a Canucks powerplay just 2:47 in.
Two periods of praying and one period of trying is no way to go through life, son.
"...We have one line scoring some goals," Capuano said. "I never call out guys, but there are guys that need to find their game. You gotta have some will. You gotta have some compete level. We're turning away from checks, we're not finishing checks when we should, some guys are turning pucks over.
"Our team, let's face it, there is not a lot of room for error, and once again we had a few guys that took a night off and we can't have it."
He went on to again threaten generally of changes, so you have to figure there is not much time left before the AHL shuttle is used, if not something more drastic.
Capuano's Angry Reaction
Notes of Defeat
- I don't mind pulling your goalie early here and there, particularly when you've generated nothing and need a boost to have any hope. But Jack Capuano is making a habit of doing it every single game, usually resulting in a quick empty-netter against, and tonight when the goalie was pulled the Islanders were actually already generating some offense. With the goalie pulled, that pressure ended. At minimum, it's deflating, especially when the Isles don't appear to have a clear 6-on-5 strategy.
- The John Tavares, Michael Grabner and Matt Moulson trio were generally a joy to watch. They generated the chances, and -- in a lesson the other Islanders forwards should heed -- created the lone goal when all three of them drove to the net, Grabner's great move and pass from his knees freating the chance, Tavares's crash keeping it alive, and Moulson's follow-up getting two whacks, the second ultimately successful.
- The Mike Mottau and Mark Eaton pairing was a pain to watch. What's amazing is they got six minutes less of even-strength ice time than the other two pairs -- and the coaches kept them mostly away from the Sedins -- yet they gave up so many more chances. It's just not a good match; their weaknesses drag one another down. Mercy.
- Brian Rolston wasn't much more fun to watch. He has a couple of goals since switching to a line with Frans Nielsen, but his depressed speed and inability to even get the puck in deep sometimes is debilitating. Lots of tepid performances tonight -- Nielsen himself gave up an odd-man rush when stripped of the puck while making moves at center ice -- so I won't pile on. But Rolston in a top-six role is unconvincing, to say the least.
- Matchups: Mark Streit and Steve Staios drew most of the Sedin matchups, with the Tavares line getting a good amount of head-to-head time against them.
- The Islanders gave up early goals in each period, which added to the flat feeling of the night. But the way they played in the first two periods, those goals could have easily come at 2:00, 8:00, 12:00 and 18:00. I guess you could say those early goals deflated them and affected their play -- the third period showed they honestly could do a little bit of driving play. But again: This one-period emo formula doesn't work.
- Roberto Luongo wasn't tested much, but he made a few really nice saves on Grabner and Mark Streit in the third as the Islanders actually pressed to bring the game close again. He had to wait for his turn, but he got the job done.
So that makes for an awful road trip, doubling their road winless total on the season to six and counting. They're home to the Rangers Tuesday night, which should be Nino Niederreiter's (re)debut.
I'm sure they'll be up for the Rangers. Doing the same for the other 28 teams would be nice.
LHH Site Notes
FIG Winners: Congratulations to the FIG winners (First Islanders Goal, which it was jokingly suggested could just be "IG" these days). Points and standings updated at the bottom of that thread.
Note to our Plus/Minus regulars: Please leave your usual plus/minus notes here. Figured with a late game and (probably) less watched one at that, we'd have less traffic and less need to separate the two. If this doesn't work or doesn't fit your preference, we'll not deviate from the norm next time.