The Islanders (6-7-1) look to build on their 2 game winning streak when Philadelphia (6-9-1) skates into the Nassau Coliseum for a President's Day matinee. Is there a better way to honor the great American presidents than pitting Philadelphia against New York?
After looking lost for 5 games and losing in an assortment of ways, the Isles have returned to relevance. The fans have taken their hand off of the panic button. Over the past two games, the Islanders have looked like a different team.
After coming out flat in Thursday's game against the Rangers, the Isles looked set on making their losing streak hit 6. Falling behind 2-0, in enemy territory, against a talented Ranger team, the game looked hopeless. But during the first intermission, something happened behind closed doors.
The Islanders hosted fellow Atlantic Divison rivals, the New Jersey Devils, on Saturday night at the Nassau Coliseum. The Isles evened up the season series at two-a-piece in another explosive game by John Tavares and the lethal power play unit.
Tavares led the way through this one, scoring his 4th career hat trick and adding an assist to the 5-1 win over New Jersey. Matt Moulson assisted on all three of Tavares’ goals, in addition to scoring one of his own, giving both of them 4-point games. (Photo Credit: T.J. Weber/The Checking Line)
The Islanders are just slightly past the quarter mark of the season after playing their 13th game of the year last night against the New York Rangers. They skated to a 4-3 shootout victory to give them a 5-7-1 record.
With 11 points, the Islanders sit 12th in the Eastern Conference; four points out of the eighth placed Rangers and last in the Atlantic Division (Photo Credit: theseoduke/Flickr).
Five of the Islanders top-six forwards have been producing from the start of the year. John Tavares has 16 points in 13 games, trailed by Matt Moulson with 13 and Brad Boyes with 10. Frans Nielsen has quietly put up nine points in the games that have been played, while Michael Grabner has seven.
This is not an attack on the man. This is not a damnation of Jack Capuano. Don't take this article as creating a scapegoat for the Islanders' recent five game slide. There is only so much that the coaching staff can do and the rest lies within the players who make big money to execute.
Simply put, the Islanders are not executing. During this losing streak, they are able to right one aspect of their game at the expense of another. For example, the Islanders could not score yet Evgeni Nabokov found a way to make ridiculous saves. Now the Islanders have recently found their scoring touch again and they can't keep the puck out of their own net. (Photo Credit: Flickr/Robert Krowal)
It is this type of losing streak that makes Isles fans want to pull the hair out of their head. They literally are losing in every way imaginable. Creativity is something they do not lack when finding ways to lose.
The New York Islanders went into tonight's game against the Carolina Hurricanes with the hopes of ending a four-game losing streak before heading back to Madison Square Garden on Thursday night for their Valentine's Day re-match with the New York Rangers. Despite ending their scoreless power play streak, the Islanders would add another tally to the loss column with a 6-4 defeat on home ice.
Frans Nielsen opened the scoring with a power play goal just 2:48 into the hockey game with assists coming from Josh Bailey and Travis Hamonic. But former Islanders Tim Wallace would tie the game a little over mid-way through the first period, sending both teams to their respective locker rooms in a draw.
The middle frame would prove to be a wild one. John Tavares scored the Isles second power play goal after jumping on a rebound in front. Matt Moulson and Lubomir Visnovsky earned the helpers. But Canes forward Jeff Skinner would knot it up at two less than 30 seconds later with a snap shot in the high slot that Rick DiPietro never saw.
After dropping their last four games, the Islanders will look to turn things around tonight when they face-off against the Carolina Hurricanes at home.
After dressing two suspended players, Josh Bailey and Lubomir Visnovsky, the Isles played a hard fought game against the Sabres on Saturday night. Despite outshooting Buffalo 43-15, the Isles fell short in a 3-2 loss, cementing a four-game losing streak. (Photo Credit: Beauty Playin 'Eh/Flickr)
As Long Islanders shovel their way out of Nemo's wintery wrath, the Islanders look to dig themselves out of this 3 game losing streak.
After a successful road trip, the Islanders returned home to lose to New Jersey and Pittsburgh and went back to the road for the first against the Rangers.
Other than John Tavares' impressive play, the Islanders looked outworked, unenthusiastic and just overwhelmed by the Rangers.
They have been outscored 11-3 on this recent skid. It is obvious that scoring is not coming to the team as easily as it once was.
It is important for the team not to harp on losses and let them snowball into long stretches of futility that could render this season a wash.
The season is too tightly packed for the Islanders to feel bad for themselves and let the losses mount. In this talented Eastern Conference and more specifically Atlantic Division, it is easy to get buried.