Tuesday, October 11, 2011

We Got One! Isles Bury Minnesota Early, Win 2-1

It didn't take long for the New York Islanders to bounce back from Saturday night's loss against Florida.

Andrew MacDonald and Frans Nielsen scored first period goals, just enough for the Isles to hold on and beat the Wild on Monday afternoon.

A win is a win, as my good friend Mo Miller articulated yesterday.

We'll definitely take this one, as well as any others that come in similar fashion, but that doesn't mean the Islanders should make a habit of it, either.

You can't take that many penalties and your scoring lines can't take two periods off, playing against the better teams like Washington, Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay.

And, quite frankly, the Isles were fortunate that snipers Dany Heatley and Devin Setoguchi whiffed a couple of times, or this game might have ended differently.

Nonetheless, they were able to win this one, and there were plenty of positives.

I can't stress enough the importance of two-way play. As was the case on opening night (even though they lost), guys were blocking shots and passing lanes, creating turnovers and basically doing whatever it took to keep Minny of the scoreboard.

Sure, the Wild were able to tack one on in the third period, and that put New York in a pressure situation. But the players weren't fazed and they responded magnificently. That's a good thing, because it's a tell-tale maturation sign.

Another thing that was thoroughly evident was that, in case anyone was wondering, Mark Streit is back. If you hadn't yet noticed, you certainly did yesterday. The captain was really on his game, creating (good) havoc in the offensive zone.

He started the day off with a brilliant individual effort in the first period that was snuffed out by a sprawling Nicklas Backstrom. Later in the opening frame, he faked a slapshot and, instead, threaded a picture-perfect pass to Frans Nielsen, who was able to get a piece of Streit's 90 mph shot/pass and redirect it past Backstrom for a goal.

Andrew MacDonald and Travis Hamonic also played strong games, with the former lighting the lamp and the latter getting an assist on that very same play.

Kudos to P.A. Parenteau for an unsung performance. He finished with two helpers on the day.

And how 'bout Al Montoya? In for the second consecutive game, he stopped 18 of 19 shots and continues to write one of the better "feel-good" stories in this league.

I'm not overly concerned with the fact that neither John Tavares, Matt Moulson or Michael Grabner have been able to produce a single point yet. It's not like they've been invisible, each has had some good scoring chances, the goals will come.

Good win for the Islanders, one they'll hopefully build off of.


Comments are welcome.

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