Islanders Offer A Mixed Bag In First Three Games

The Islanders came away from the Canada Thanksgiving weekend with a huge loss. For reasons unknown when the Isles travel to CBJ they continue to be unable to score a goal. In just two games that have been played in Columbus the Isles have been outscored 12-0. This despite the Isles creating many and varied chances in the early part of the game. They can’t buy a goal in that fortress right now. While Isles fans were wringing hands and crying their pillows, at lease we weren’t the Pens. 10-1? Looks like the Blackhawks used their playoff goal drought as motivation. But I digress.

The Isles bounced  back from the season opener. An opener in which Doug Weight relied on a similar line up as Cappy might have played for the opener last year. This is to say a lot of vets and none of the youth that has excited so many fans. The line up lead to a number of Tweets lamenting the line up. Here’s a sampling:

As Islanders fans, we have seen the the bottom of the table and do not suffer fools well. The front office surely has over the years, but we don’t! In that one move Doug Weight lost a portion of the fan base. He has to work with what he has but a 5-0 score to start the season was not a good omen. It seemed to be more of the typical Islanders woes. Great attack and the defense getting caught out on the counter attack.

So the Isles brought it back to Brooklyn for the home opener and jumped out with an aggressive attack from the puck drop. John Tavares and Casey Cizikas each racked up 2 goals and an assist in a 6-3 win against the Buffalo Sabres. The game was fun to watch after such a dismal start to the season. On this day  the Isles looked like the team that finished up the season in 2016. Gritty, aggressive, fast and loose, against a team like the Sabres they got away with it despite the fact that 3 goals were given up. To be competitive the Isles have to lock it down tighter on D.  Check out the highlights here:

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Which brings us to our third game of the season. This game is my favorite of the three. A Canada Turkey Day tilt with the St. Louis Blues. Going into this game we had a mixed bag of moments in the first two games. good play by the forwards, missteps by the D-Men. Good play by the D and missed opportunities by the forwards, and a Power Play unit that needs some work. The first 2 periods of the St. Louis game were fast paced and all Blues. Just when it looked like the game was out of hand and the clock was winding down the Isles staged a dramatic and incredible come back to bring the game to 2-2 and hold on for overtime. The goals are beauties and Greiss made some incredible saves to keep that score and to force overtime. The reason that this was my favorite of the bunch came in overtime. The play in OT was end to end and both teams had chances. On a rush to the Islanders goal to prevent a scoring opportunity Josh Ho-Sang was called for slashing. The Isles held onto the comeback and forced the game into a shoot out with Ho-Sang in the sin bin for all but 10 seconds during the final two minutes. The shoot out was bad for the Isles as Jake Allen was on and the Islanders shoot out skills were off. Despite or perhaps in spite of the loss the Isles showed the grit and skill needed to comeback late in game and stay in it. Three games does not a season make, but it highlights some of the successes and shortcomings that we might revisit throughout the year.

Damn this goal was filthy!

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Oh and this save by Griess. Give that goalie some God Damn love after a save like this!

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The Isles are on the left coast for a 4 game swing against Western Conference opponents this week. Oh and yes I know the image above features Halak.

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