What the fork?! The Islanders have won 3 straight! Including this gem against the struggling New York Rangers!
— Dwayne Hicks (@USCMHicks) October 20, 2017
Now listen, I know that it’s early in the season and JHS was just sent back to Bridgeport. However as an Isles fan I have to be happy. It’s like being a kid and asking for a present and having your hardworking, dime stretching, parents get you almost what you really, really wanted but missing the mark. On one hand the Isles have three victories in three games. Captain John Tavares seems to have found his mojo again, unloading for a hattie against the hapless Arizona Coyotes. He also chalked up an a assist in the same game. That moves him into 7th in Islanders history with 545 total points.
— NHL (@NHL) October 25, 2017
Also Casey Cizikas and the Isles PK unit killed a 5 on 3 penalty. Oh and Cizikas did it with no stick and one, ONE gotdamn glove. What a beast.
On the other they let in nine goals. Three in each game against two of the worst teams in the league (sorry Rangers fans) and the misfiring Sharks.
I always relish a win against the Rangers and a shootout win is even better. While not the slugfest (literal or figurative) that the games have been in past, it was still fun to watch. Both teams were pretty evenly matched.
In the game against San Jose. Josh Bailey scored an amazing goal. Dangling the puck and then sweeping his stick between his legs to stuff it home. Feast your eyes on it here:
Josh Bailey with a disgusting goal for the Islanders tonight pic.twitter.com/UNT2hbaNoz
— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) October 22, 2017
Here is the rub.
In each of those games the Islanders were outshot by the opposing teams. Which is pretty concerning, given that the Islanders have a propensity for turnovers in their own zone. They also allow teams like the the Coyotes and Rangers (not great offensive powers) to skate past the defensemen and put the puck on net. Shit like that is going to burn a goalie, or two out quickly. It also places a lot of pressure on the forwards to score a lot of goals. If that’s the strategy for Weight and Co. it’s working to perfection. Allow a few in and the forwards will make up for our lack of solid defense. My fear is that it’s not. In fact I say it only for semi-humorous effect. This pattern could spell disaster for the Islanders as they head into the weekend.
Going into this weekend the Isles face the injury wracked Minnesota Wild, Nashville and Red Hot VGK. The Wild, injury wracked or not are never to be trifled with and always put up a decent fight. The Preds and the Golden Knights have an abundance of goal scorers that can quickly exploit the missteps of a defense like the Isles. Hell, the rushes to net by VGK in Tuesday’s game against the Blackhawks, made that team look, at times, like a bunch of Beer Leaguers being mauled by the US Women’s Hockey team. Well crafted runs with numbers going into the crease, long shots and rebounds gobbled up and skillfully placed in net. It was a text book ass whupping. Did I mention that was against the Blackhawks?
So what happens when you unwrap your present this weekend Islanders fans? Do you force a smile, grit your teeth and throw that sorry ass present in the trash, while saying an earnest if not forced thank you. Or do you rush over to the giver of the present, envelop them in a bear hug and thank them with all you’ve got.
Time will tell.
SO, YES! YES! YES! Let’s go boys! Now is the time to prove to the fans that you are a team in the hunt for the playoffs!