|I just tell them, "Save your energy for the next one."|
Unfortunately, what should have been a very fun stretch for an Islanders team ready to turn the corner has turned into an eye-opening string of games. Too often have the Islanders come up short in games they needed to win this year, and too often have they disappeared for stretches at a time.
No exaggeration here. Our Isles played on their heels for the entire final two periods of the game, which has become all too familiar. When the going gets tough, this Islanders team never shows up, so it's time for a talk.
This team can be turned around. By no means will I say this is a sign to come for next year. This team can still be a playoff contender for the 2012-13 NHL season, but something needs to be said of their lack of effort (zero, really) for long stretches at a time.
The foundation is there. Tavares and Moulson lead the way, while Martin and Hamonic are strong parts of the core. But, do you guys ever feel like too many players are invisible for entire games? I checked the ice time, and it's not like only PAP-JT-MM were on the ice. Sadly, on nights like last night, it seems that way.
Where's the passion? Matt Martin has missed the past two games, so there goes our physical game. Haley's up, sure, but he's the player on the ice the least.
The kids have come up to play, but they get the least ice time. I notice them every time they're on the ice, and not because they don't have a familiar number. They play with energy. They play like they want to be here.
|Mottau, Pandolfo. We're down 1. I only want you guys out|
there. Rest of you guys on the bench.
I know. He "knows how to coach kids." They're not kids anymore. Tavares is in his 3rd season. Bailey is in his 4th. Treat them like they've been there.
This team, in my honest opinion, was a playoff team at the beginning of February, and the team was getting all the help they needed to stick around. Capuano and the rest of the Islanders just couldn't get up for the big games. Everything that happened since opening day, from the shutouts to the blown leads, has been a theme all season. The forwards don't forecheck, the defense-men cannot clear the zone.
It's unfortunate. It's been an exciting season, for the most part, and I have really enjoyed watching this team. It's just not so great watching play on the same side of the ice for all three periods (once in opposing zone, twice in ours). They play on their heels all too much, which makes you think why the guys who aren't performing get more chances than those who haven't had a shot. This offseason should be a fun one.
I'm Chris Triants, and this is my blog.
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