That revolving door the Islanders use really needs some maintenance after all the use it’s getting lately. With Franz Nielsen going down to injury last night, the Islanders have recalled center Jeremy Colliton from their AHL affiliate in Bridgeport. It’s unfortunate that Nielsen was injured as he was playing some great hockey as of late and was beaming with confidence – hopefully he comes back soon.
In the meantime, I don’t even know if it’s worth dissecting last nights loss to the Devils. The team looked like they were off for a month instead of a few days. They came out flat, mentally unprepared and just unable to get anything going. The Devils were able to walk all over the team, set up in front of the MacDonald all game long and score via deflections and redirections at will. The Islanders need to recenter and find what got them fired up for Ottawa and Vancouver. Those teams were tough teams, there was no reason why they couldn’t come out of The Rock last night with two points if they continued their play.
The team faces a really tough team tonight in Buffalo, although the Sabres have struggled themselves at certain points this season as well. They have their identity again though, so the Islanders really need to come into this game with theirs – the Go-Go Gordons.
The Islanders need to set up their forecheck early, they need to send bodies to the net – just like the play when Bergenheim scored off of Sutton’s rebound. They need to jump all over loose pucks and go to the net – “Skate, Skate, Skate” like Weight says. Lastly, the defenders need to clear the crease out for MacDonald. Allow him to see everything and keep the opposition from getting sticks on shots or even off the defenders skates.
It sure would be nice to come out of this road trip with a few points, hopefully they can do something tonight. I won’t be around to watch the game though as I will be at the Beer Expo at Nassau Coliseum. I will follow the game as much as possible via the live tracker – I may comment from time to time on the post, should be a good night.