Islanders Stumble, Fall to Maple Leafs

Jaroslav HalakIslanders fans had to feel good as they left their seats following the first twenty minutes of last night’s game against the Maple Leafs at the Nassau Coliseum.  The Isles had regained a one goal lead shortly after the Maple Leafs had evened the score.  John Tavares notched a power play goal to get him to the ten point mark, and all were happy in Islanders Country.

Too bad the Isles had to play the second period.

Four unanswered goals, two by Phil Kessel, were the nail in the proverbial coffin, as the Islander defeat streak moved to two games with a 5-2 loss.  The effort in the second period, turned the fans to full blown negativity on social media and also proceeded to raucously boo the home team when they left the pond at the conclusion of the second period of play.

The third period saw some good chances, but Jonathan Bernier was tall between the pipes.

Some thoughts on the game, and the Islanders:

  1. Travis Hamonic has to be playing with extreme pain.  You can see him grimacing a great deal of times after plays are completed.  He is a warrior in every sense of the word, but now is not the time to do it.
  2. The play of Brian Strait has not been that impressive.  Missing a great deal of assignments, and just not providing the solid play that he had done in the 12-13 season.
  3. Jaroslav Halak has made some incredible saves in his brief tenure here, but there have been too many ones that have gone by – that boggle the mind.  Chad Johnson should be the netminder on Thursday when the Isles invade Boston.
  4. Do many in Islander country feel that the coach needed to call a time out when the team went down a goal?  The passion and momentum went sliding like a bad penny stock.
  5. Islander fans were complaining in droves on social media, some are actually jumping off the bandwagon.

The Islanders are still a much improved team than they were just four weeks ago.  They will have stumbles and bumps in the road, as they have had over the past two nights.  The plus to take out, is that the penalty kill, ranked 30th in the league before tonight’s match-up, was strong.  The power play, however, is one for the last thirteen.

The Bruins, a team in flux at this point, is ripe for the taking.  For Johnny Boychuk, and Chad Johnson, it will be a homecoming of sorts.  They will likely get some applause for a few seconds, and then will be part of the hated opponents.

For the fans of the Islanders, do not jump off the ship.  It is two games, and this team is a lot better than it played last night.  The hope is that players heal over the next day, and be ready for the Bruins in Boston Thursday night.