Jose Theodore - any netminder who puts the puck in the net is my champ anytime.
Islanders Offense - 2 straight shutouts; Jose Theodore scored more goals in one game than the Islanders have in the past two games; How depressing is that??
After witnessing a losing effort by the Islanders, I arrived home from the Coliseum and hopped on my Playstation 2 determined to show the Canadiens a thing or two. After setting up the teams (I chose the Islanders of course and had the computer use the Canadiens), I was ready to hit the ice and put in a much better effort than the Islanders had. Unfortunately, I played just as awful as the Islanders did last night. Montreal totally dominated play and spanked me 6-2; the only goals I got were from Brad Isbister and Evgeny Korolev. Its kind of funny when you think of it; Isbister, a player we sorely miss scored a goal and not one of our current offensive weapons did a thing. Kind of like real life, huh? But, on the brighter side, Jose Theodore did not score a goal on me and I actually controlled the Islanders to two goals. Holding true to form, Chara took a nice elbowing penalty and got his butt kicked in a fight with Sheldon Souray. Overall, another horrible result for the Isles; even I couldn't help this team get going in the right direction.
In case you missed it, the Islanders were shutout last night 3-0. With another poor showing the Isles have arrived at the lowest point in their season, 10 games under .500. I can honestly say that for most of the game the effort was there. Connolly's line had numerous chances to bury the puck but either they missed the shots or Theodore came up with the big save. The defense played decent, but when the offense is not creating chances and scoring goals, it puts an enormous amount of pressure on an already young and fragile defense.
Pack your bags Milbury?
In my last article I defended Milbury and many of his moves. I still believe the Islanders current woes are not his fault. Keep in mind that Milbury has nothing to do with the injuries we have sustained to our star players including Isbister, Jonsson, and Hamrlik. He actually made the moves to acquire these three players through trades, yet nobody is praising him for that. I understand that when a team is not performing up to par something has to be done and since you cannot trade your entire team it is usually the GM or coach who gets relieved of their duties. But I still believe Milbury has done a very good job with the Islanders and would not be surprised if ownership feels the same way. Then again, I don't make the decisions for the franchise and maybe Milbury is packing his bags right now. Only time will tell.
Butch Get A Clue
In a confusing coaching move last night, with about a 1:30 remaining in the third period, and the Isles down by two, Goring had the line of LaPointe, Scatchard, and Lawrence on the ice. Ummm...HELLO?? Let me see: down by two with time running out; let me put my checking line out to put the puck in the net. I don't care how bad the other two lines were playing last night. Your top goal scorers need to be on the ice in a situation where you are down by two goals with time winding down. Butch just totally confused me with this move.
Hooray for Jose
Congrats go out to Jose Thedore. You know your team has sunk to an all time low when the opposing goaltender nets his first career goal against you. In case you missed it, he actually shot the puck from his backhand and put it squarely in the Isles net; not an easy feat. And not to mention that on top of scoring a goal, he also earned a shutout against us. What a double whammy huh?
Paging Tim Connolly
Tim Connolly has the talent to be a star in this league. With every shift, he continues to display his skill as a puck handler and passer. I don't think I will ever get tired of that move when he puts the puck between his legs and beats the defender to the outside. However, after each scoreless shift last night you could see the frustration on his face as he returned to the bench. As a fan who has followed him closely throughout the season, I really hope he breaks out of this scoring slump soon. I am pulling for you Tim; you are the future of this franchise and I really like what I see so far.
Kolnik, In or Out?
I was extremely happy a few days ago, when I read on newyorkislanders.com that Kolnik was taking his game up to the big show. From what Butch was saying, it really seemed like the Isles were gonna give this kid a chance to display his goal scoring ability. Considering how the offense has been struggling as of late maybe Kolnik could give them a little spark. Unfortunately, Butch was all bark and no bite. Kolnik has seen very little playing time since he has been called up and Goring seems more content with having Mark Lawrence on the ice. Why not give the kid a chance to give this offense some life?
(tid bits about the game you may have missed):
It was unfortunate to hear Rick DiPietro and Team USA lost to Canada 2-1 in the Quarterfinals of the World Junior Championships. The last time a goalie (Damian Rhodes) had a shutout and goal in the same game was exactly two years ago to the day of last nights game. It was good to see tough guy Gino Odjick back in the Coliseum again. Too bad management decided to trade Linden. He really would have fit in well with this team and provided some leadership that is obviously greatly missed. In a most crucial part of the season, a 7-game homestand, the Islanders have gone 2-5.
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Until Next Time..."Keep the Faith"