The Islanders have played so well over the past 2 weeks, they decided to up the ante and make tonight's game against the Maple Leafs a little more challenging. Less than two minutes into the game the Islanders decided to see if they could win a game by spotting the opposition a goal, single-handedly putting the Leafs up 1-0.
Mark Streit and Evgeni Nabokov played a game of 'See if you can score on me when I play 10 feet out of the crease' and unfortunately for New York, Streit scored what would be the only Isles tally of the night.
The other major story coming out of this game was the end of John Tavares' point scoring streak. Tavares had an NHL season high 12 game scoring streak, and there were a couple shifts, including one beautiful rush where he split two Toronto d-men, where it looked like he would easily make it 13.
The Islanders were out shot by the Leafs 35-25, but honestly it wasn't even that close. The Islanders, besides a few good shifts from the first line again, seemed sluggish and, when they needed to step it up a notch, couldn't seem to find the extra gear that was needed.
The team's other 3 lines were so incapable of producing scoring chances that Jack Capuano seemed to ride the Tavares line a little too much, which in the 3rd period lead to the Leafs final goal. Billy Jaffe weighed in on this same point via Twitter:
JTavares 1:07 and Moulson 1:06 shift avg too long...I know Isles need them to score but extended shifts lead to goals agst like end of game
In the end, the Islanders just played a poor game, and when that happens, you more often than not come out on the losing end.
- This is the 8th time this season the Islanders have allowed a goal less than 2 minutes into the game. Not surprisingly, they have lost 7 of those 8 games.
- This is also the 8th time the Islanders have been shutout this season. They haven't been shutout that many times in a season since the 02-03 season.
- Sticking with the 8 theme, Matt Martin had another 8 hits tonight. Toronto could've sworn it was more like 80.
- Josh Bailey played another good game with 2 shots on goal, 5 takeaways, and 4 hits, including a bone rattler in the 2nd period. The kid is starting to put forth consistent good efforts, and it makes you wish he'd get some consistently good linemates (I'm looking at you Brian Rolston)
- With 5 minutes left in the game, Capuano reunited the F'nGO line, swapping Kyle Okposo and P.A. Parenteau, but if this is going to be a permanent reuniting, or a multiple goal deficit grasping at straws, remains to be seen.
- Andrew MacDonald attempted 7 shots on net, and managed to have every single one of them blocked before they ever reached the goalie.
- This was one of Mark Streit's less than stellar performances. It was an effort that makes Islanders Nation wonder who the real Mark Streit is these days.
- Through 58 minutes there was only one minor penalty called in the game, a tripping call on Parenteau midway through the 1st period. By my count, there were at least 6 minor penalties that should have been called in that span.
- Besides questionable positioning on "Streit's" goal, Nabokov was solid in the 1st period, stopping the other 15 shots that were part of a Leafs' onslaught on net.
Instead of moving one game within NHL .500, the Isles fall 3 games behind that mark. Heading home to face these same Leafs tomorrow night, they'll need a much better performance if they want to start working their way back up towards that mark again.