#08 | New Jersey Devils vs. New York Islanders | Feb 3 | 3 PM | L 3-0
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02-04-2013, 07:50 PM
Join Date: Oct 2008
Originally Posted by
lots of negativity in this thread, it was really just one boring game where the team played well at times, awful at other times, game could have gone either way.
That Grabs breakaway goes in and this is the Isles winning.
Considering JT was "marginal" - had a couple of good shifts and chances but largely wasn't in sync. I don't think it was NJ's effective checking as much as JT being off with his timing and linemates, too many bad, low percentage passes....whatever.
The PP was terrible - and that's the game.
No need to overanalyze. The dmen minutes are fine, all teams favour their top 3-4 players and Cappy is right in the icetime distribution, those top four are the best they have and they need to be on the ice against opposing top players - period.
Why Cappy hasn't played Martinek is beyond me, but maybe he was hurting a bit, who knows.
Visnovsky will help a great deal, if he makes it.
Isles are a good team this year, better than I expected (so far, anyway).
I admit that I am guilty of being bi polar just like every other Islanders fan on this board. It’s tough to not be pessimistic with what we have gone through as a fanbase. I am trying to be as objective as possible, but frankly I just don’t think this is a playoff team. I’d agree that we are better than last year, but right now I see us on the outside cusp of the playoffs and looking in. So call that 9th – 13th. It’s good that we are better, but with 5 straight lottery picks, with one of them being a superstar entering his prime, it is hard to get worse. Frankly, the small progress is like a blind squirrel finding a nut. It just isn’t good enough.
Why do I think we will finish 9th – 13th. Well, here goes:
1. Let’s start with simply ranking the teams in some tiers that I made up. Teams definitely better than us: Pittsburgh, NYR, Philly, Boston, Montreal, Ottawa. Teams that are question marks that we may be able to better than but are most likely a tad bit better than us: NJD, Buffalo, Tampa Bay. Teams that are question marks that we may be better than and very well could be: Toronto, Winnipeg, Carolina. Teams that are worse than us: Florida, Washington. Of course this is my own opinion, and I can see some of these teams shifting up or down a bit – but it is a basic gist. That puts us at 7th with the 6 teams I’m saying will definitely be better, and at 10th with the teams that most likely will be better. And I think that’s pretty fair. Add in the fact that half of our games are against the Atlantic, and teams in the tiers similar to ours have an advantage. A few loser points here and there with the Southeast playing each other versus us losing in regulation to our Atlantic foes, and watch us drop like a bomb.
2. We aren’t good enough 5 on 5. This Devils game our PP was 0-7, which is as much of an anomaly as our ridiculously good PP was going into that game. Same with the PK. We had good special teams last year (top third in the league) and again lacked the 5 on 5 skill to contend for playoff spot. The PK and PP can still both be good, but they will at least regress back down to normal levels, putting more pressure on our 5 v 5 play. Let’s look at our goal differential 5 on 5. Using the stat of goals for / goals against 5 on 5, we are at 0.77. This is pretty evident of how [not] good we are as a team. Who’s worse than us in this category? Florida, Columbus, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Washington, and Nashville. Small sample size, I know. But I’d say that is a pretty good indicator of the worst teams in the league. Anybody picking any of those teams to make the playoffs?
3. We are outcoached almost every game. Teams figure us out because we are outcoached. Goals allowed per period for the Islanders: 1st period – 5 goals. 2nd period – 6 goals. 3rd period – 14 goals (worst in the league). We are -8 in the third period in 8 games. Teams are making changes against us mid game that our coaching staff is just not capable of matching. That, and we just don’t have enough veteran leadership on the team to show these kids how to hold on to wins or finish out games we are tied or trailing in.
I admit I’m in a bit of funk after yesterday’s game. I’d love to eat my words, and with a shortened season, maybe there just isn’t enough time for the cream to rise to the top and we can squeak in. I’d way rather watch them in the playoffs and be wrong. Unless the above gets better, I just don’t see it happening.
So, instead, I take it as some improvements. We are a .500 team. And we are moving in the right direction. We get to keep our prospects out of the NHL, and a few of the more seasoned ones are starting to take nice shape (CC, DU, etc.). We are competitive. We have been in every game and it least makes it exciting to watch the team again. I’ll take that for now, but I’m not holding my breath on the playoffs because I just don’t see it.
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