The Islanders play with a system, on some nights it works like clockwork – on other nights it looks like pandemonium or just disarray. For anyone that uses a computer that runs ANY Microsoft operating system – sometimes you just need to hit CTRL-ALT-DEL (Control – Alt – Delete) to “reboot” the system. After the showing the team put up in a home loss on Saturday and a follow up stinker tonight in Toronto – it’s about that time.
What can they do to reboot you ask? Let’s do a quick synopsis of what I saw tonight:
- FORECHECK!!!! When it was there, the Islanders scored, when it wasn’t – well…..
- Work on clearing the puck out of your own zone. How many times during these losses has the team tried to clear the puck but throw it up the boards to a vacant position?
- Practice passing the puck. Too many passes to places and areas where players SHOULD be, but aren’t.
- Going back to the first item, the BREAKOUT – it’s not an anything out on most nights. Move the puck fast and follow it up – isn’t that the entire focus of “Overspeed”?
- How about REALLY watching some game tapes. Look at what Toronto did successfully tonight and mimic the small things. On a majority of the goals scored for them, they moved the puck beautifully. I have not seen passing from the Islanders that has blown me away or taken me back – aside from glimpses from Bailey or Weight. You have 5 players plus a goaltender – use them to move and set up plays. The last Toronto goal by Williams is a picture perfect play – and a play that I absolutely crave.
- Stay the heck out of the penalty box. Why is Bergenheim even thinking about putting his arm on a player. Sure, whoever it was (I don’t remember) fell as if he was shot – but you just DO NOT DO THAT! There were some other penalties, but nothing really to mention specifically.
- Shoot the puck – FASTER!!! I lost track, but Toronto must have blocked like 30 Islanders shots tonight. They closed lanes, kept shots wide and just kept pressure on the entire game.
I have faith in Gordon, this is not me sounding an alarm to get him out of here. He needs time to grow and adapt to the league in order to be completely successful – but at the same time, I don’t understand why the team just collapses like they do. When they are on, they are dead on – but the same holds true for when they are off.
On one hand, I am completely frustrated by their play. On the other – I hope they stay in the basement cellar for the rest of the season. The first round pick (very very HIGH pick) is just what this franchise needs to rebuild, no matter who says what.
Tomorrow is going to be interesting as always, Philadelphia always seems to play the Islanders hard – the biggest question is how will the Islanders respond?