Friday, November 4, 2011

Winnipeg "Jets" by Isles 3-0

The winless streak hit six last night, as the Islanders were defeated by the Winnipeg Jets by a 3-0 margin.

It was a disappointing game, virtually from start to finish. New York put 34 shots on goal, but were unable to beat Jets' goaltender Ondrej Pavelec, who was subsequently named the first star of the contest.

Don't let the shot totals fool you: The Islanders did not play a very strong game offensively. They simply did not bury rebounds and second chances, and there were plenty of 'em. All they had to do was find the back of the net once and the game would've been tied (at least before Winnipeg jumped ahead 2-0).

Offered Brian Rolston: "We threw a lot of pucks at him (Pavelec) for sure, and he played well but, at the same time, we have to make our breaks."

The Tavares-Moulson-Parenteau line was practically invisible throughout, and the power play units weren't much better. New York failed to convert on all three opportunities with the man-advantage.

Similarly, Josh Bailey felt that the Isles "put pucks to the net and Pavelec was good tonight. We don't want to let it snowball, we have to focus on the positives."
Not that there were many in this one, aside from Rick DiPietro's solid effort and the fact that Blake Comeau and Bailey clicked a bunch of times.

At the same token, there were a few instances in this game where Bailey made poor decisions with the puck, particularly when, on a breakaway, he opted to pass the puck behind him instead of getting to the net.

You can't fault Ricky on either Winnipeg goals. Travis Hamonic and Andrew MacDonald just broke down, leading to tallies by Evander Kane and Johnny Oduya.

Though he wouldn't be injured on the play, DiPietro appeared to be shaken up after a Winnipeg skater ran him over in the 3rd period, and he had trouble reading shots and covering up pucks from that point until the end of the game.

Said DiPietro: "It’s disappointing obviously, I thought we worked hard. We just couldn’t get one in. it just didn’t happen, its one of those games that the puck just seemed to find the goalie. I thought the boys worked hard, we just couldn’t capitalize. We've got to take the positives. It’s a long season, it’s a grind and it’s only November. We expect to be competitive and expect to win."

As for what else can be expected, head coach Jack Capuano promised that changes are coming:

Said a frustrated Capuano: “I don’t know what to think. Midway through we just stopped skating and didn’t do much. We've got to score goals and I'm not going to keep harping on it. We’ll take a look and probably change some lines and things before the game against Washington.”

We'll see what type of changes occur and if they're effective. For now, the Islanders have to shake this one off and focus on the next one.

It's apparent that the team's collective blood pressure is on the rise, and it's important for them to not let recent events get in the way of things. That responsibility lies with the veterans on this team, like captain Mark Streit, Brian Rolston, Jay Pandolfo and Steve Staios.

It's not too late, but the New York Islanders must find a way to stop the bleeding, and they must do it immediately.

Comments are welcome.


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