** NOTE – nice to be back – it has been a while…. **
Brooklyn, NY – In their last home match before a three game western road swing, the Islanders played a strong third period, but still fell short with a 2-1 defeat to the Boston Bruins.
Tukka Rask was strong in the visitors crease, making 36 saves only allowing a Johnny Boychuk blast on an Islander 5 on 3 power play. Jaroslav Halak made 25 saves, however some are of the spectacular kind. Halak was definitely a force in the game keeping the Islanders in the game.
The Islanders play was sluggish in the first two periods. It seemed like a lot of passes were not crisp and the play frequented around the perimeter of the goals, rather than in front of the netminder.
The team, to a man that we heard in the locker room after the game, feel comfortable about their play. The mood was a little somber, but the guys feel that the upcoming three game trip may just be the panacea that can move this team back into winning ways.
“Last year, this was the trip that we bonded, and got some victories and gave us some confidence going forward”, said Frans Nielsen to reporters following the contest. “We are looking forward to getting on the road, and bonding a little, and hopefully we will get some confidence coming home.”
There are similarities between the Islanders of now, and the New York Mets of June of this past season. In the 2nd and 3rd month of the Mets season, before they made their great run, they had an extreme bad case of not scoring any runs. They found so many ways of failing to get guys to home plate. It is similar for this Islander team, one that started the season on fire, scoring goals in bunches, but now seem to find themselves struggling to get the biscuit in the basket.
Is it time to push the panic button?
Definitely not. Despite the recent struggles, the team not by any stretch of the imagination out of hunt. The coach feels that the team is not squeezing their sticks too tight, and is confident that they will turn it around.
A little “Callifornia Dreamin’” could be the panacea for the Islanders struggles.
Isles Notes: Adam Pelech was recalled from Bridgeport this morning to be an extra defensemen for the California trip. This will be Pelech’s first foray into the NHL. Pelech is a Bridgeport leading +9 as of this weekend, and is deserving of the call-up. The Sound Tigers came off back-to-back shutouts this weekend.