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Monday, October 31, 2011

Finishing October Without A Bang

Well, a month into the season and here we are again. That feeling of, "What do they have to do to win a game?" is back. This is NOT the time to hit the big red panic button.

The facts are the Isles started 3-1-0, but went 0-3-2 since then.

In their last game, the Isles were on the wrong end of a tough call in OT, which might have cost them the game. Everyone seemed to know what happened, except for the guys in stripes.

Photo Credit: sports.yahoo.com
On a positive note from this game, oft injured goalie Rick DiPietro started, and played very well, allwoing 2 goals throughout regulation. The Isles powerplay got 2 goals in the second period, and they peppered Thomas Greiss with 37 shots. Overall a great game, but just an unfortunate outcome.

Photo Credit: Newsday
The Islanders have also yet to win a road game. Their best chance came in Pittsburgh last week when, after a rare Matt Martin goal, the Isles were up 2-0 in the third period. The Penguins came back and tied it against Evgeni Nabokov, who had been playing great. The game went to a shootout, and for some reason unknown at that point, Evgeni Nabokov simply left the game and Rick DiPietro came in for his first game action of the season. Even Isles announcer Howie Rose was baffled. He said, in complete shock, "What in the wide world of sports is going on here?!?!?" DiPietro played fine in the shootout, allowing a goal to Evgeni Malkin on a move that had DiPietro sliding before the puck left Malkin's stick. Unfortunately for him, the Isles couldn't match it.

The bottom line is, the Isles are not playing badly, they are just not winning. Their penalty kill ins #8 in the league. The power play is #10 in the league, both solid numbers. If these numbers continue to stay the way they are, the Isles will be fine. There is no reason to panic.

For the first time in 15 years, the Islanders host the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday, and that should make for a great game as last year the Islanders and the Atlanta Thrashers always played close, competative games. It's early, and eventually this will all work itself out.

Lets Go Islanders!!!

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