Three things come to mind about tonight’s game, three very important things. First, being a new year the Islanders need to overcome whatever “Rangers Hangover” stigma results in the game following playing their crosstown rivals. Number two, the Islanders need to play a solid 60 minutes and remain out of the penalty box. And finally, number three – the Isles need to maintain the lead late in the game.
Somewhat troublesome is the fact that the team has not been able to keep the opposition off the score sheet during the third period, three games in a row. It happened with Montreal, it happened again with Columbus and it almost happened again with the Rangers. Chalk it up to being tired, chalk it up to confidence – I don’t really know, but the team just needs to figure this one out. They started the season not being able to keep the opponent from scoring very early in the game – they would trail and never be able to get back in. Then it started with a poor performance late in the game, so maybe they can finally just dominate when they stick to their game plan for a solid 60 minutes.
The team they are playing in Atlanta tonight has trouble of their own, another team that cannot seem to find their identity so it is a big opportunity for them. A win tonight would mean the Islanders leapfrog the Thrashers in the standings and it would give them three wins in a row – a winning streak in anyone’s book.
I managed to catch most of the game the other night on my slingbox from the hotel room, not really sure what is going on today after the show – but I will try to post and catch the game if I can.