The New York Islanders played host to the Philadelphia Flyers this afternoon with the hopes of earning back a win against their Metropolitan Division rivals after losing to them 6-4 on the road Saturday night. Anders Nilsson and Ray Emery were your net-minders for the Martin Luther King Jr. matinee. The contest would conclude in a
The first period saw plenty of hits and fights between both sides. Matt Carkner fought Jay Rosehill just inside the Isles blue line, resulting in a win for the home team. Just a few minutes later, Kyle Okposo would drop the mitts with Braydon Coburn inside the Flyers zone. Not many punches were thrown, but KO would get the take down, allowing the Minnesota native to be showered with USA chants as he headed to the Isles penalty box.
It has become incredibly clear that no matter what Garth Snow does this season it will either be hit or miss, home run or strike out, black or white. There has been no gray area for the 8 year Islander General Manager and finally his decisions appear to be trending in the right direction for the team again.
On a night that was called “the greatest night of my life” by the new first time dad Kyle Okposo, his teammate and good friend John Tavares had one of the best nights statistically of his brief NHL career.
You really could not have written it up any better for Kyle Okposo's game-winning goal last night against the Chicago Blackhawks.
Just a day after the management personnel of Team USA announced their roster for the Olympic games, choosing to omit Okposo from the competition, KO would come in and score the decisive goal in overtime against the defending Stanley Cup Champions at Nassau Coliseum
The New York Islanders continue their western road trip tonight with a stop in Los Angeles to face the Kings, still searching for their first regulation win after the last 11 games played.
The Islanders will still be without Evgeni Nabokov tonight, as Kevin Poulin is slated to start between the pipes. At the other end of the ice will likely be Ben Scrivens, who has taken over for Jonathan Quick after he went down due to injury. Scrivens has played exceptionally well, helping keep his team in the top three of the Pacific Division and 5th in the Western Conference.
Tonight, the Islanders led most of the game. As is the norm, it was the first line of John Tavares, Thomas Vanek and Kyle Okposo who led the way.
After defenseman Thomas Hickey forced a turnover with the Pens skating into the Islanders’ zone, the Isles top line skates into the Pittsburgh zone. Tavares hits Okposo with a pass and the forward skates up the left wing. Okposo then backhands the puck on net where it ricochets off of Pitt defender Olli Maatta and past goalie Marc-Andre Fleury.
It's been repeated dozens of times before: the Islanders defense is not as good as it needs to be, and the goaltending between the pipes is a major area of concern. But what hasn't been acknowledged is that the Isles offense, which has more or less been excused, needs improvement as well (Photo credit: THEFANBLOG/Flickr).
There's no denying that Matt Carkner's play has been less than superb, and that Matt Donovan has continued to make the expected rookie mistakes. Both of these players have led to Travis Hamonic and most notably Andrew MacDonald being forced into accepting more minutes and responsibility that is perhaps too much for this duo to handle on a nightly basis.
Add that Lubomir Visnovsky's veteran leadership has been missing for quite some time now and you have every hockey pundit saying "ya think?!" when asked if the Isles defense may be one of the reasons why they have slid in the standings.
But see if you can answer this: aside from John Tavares, Kyle Okposo, Thomas Vanek (while healthy) and Frans Nielsen, where has the offense come for this team?