Well there is a strange aura here at the Coliseum. No, it’s not that we are less than ten minutes from game time and there are MAYBE 500 people here (even that’s generous) – it’s that there is a strange anticipation of things to come should Jack Capuano not manage a win here at home.
That said, it’s Jack Capuano’s Islanders coaching debut capping off his mere 48 hours of prep time with his team trying to solve this ugly ten game losing streak. He has made some tweaks, but said he really didn’t want to change much all at once – so perhaps his replacing of Scott Gordon will be change enough to light that proverbial fire.
Tampa Bay has struggled, losing three in an row and six of their last seven – so a win here tonight isn’t out of the question should they jump on Tampa early.
I will be having a semi live blog going, with Tweets entertaining those following at home as I watch this contest safely from my perch above the ice known as the press box.
7:10pm Josh Bailey with a give away in the defensive zone – leads to a flurry of Lightning shots as the Islanders cannot clear. So far they look like a normal team, although I expected more jump out of the gate.
7:11pm Tavares with a steal and goes in on a break away – draws a hook along the way. Islanders power play.
7:15pm Islanders fail to convert on the power play but they had several good looks and generated four shots. Not too bad so far. Let’s see if they can build on the momentum.
7:21pm Shot count 8-7 Isles, but all of the shots Tampa has taken have been easy to stop perimeter shots on Roloson. Islanders challenging when they can.
7:31pm Sound Tigers callup Dylan Reese gets two minutes for holding the stick, Tampa on it’s first power play.
7:41pm Bailey gets called for a slash – giving Tampa their second power play.
7:42pm Tampa scores first with .3 seconds left in the first on the power play.
Well, there certainly was a different kind of effort for vast portions of the first period. Unfortunately for the Islanders, undisciplined play led to Tampa scoring on their second power play chance (Stamkos, Clark and St. Louis). After leading Tampa in shots for more than half the period, Tampa stormed out in from totally 19 to the Islanders 11.
Jack Capuano has some adjustments to make, he’s likely telling his team they need to pressure smart without taking too many penalties and kindly informing them they need to shoot more.
I did like what I saw when Moulson and Tavares were hovering around the net and the slot area looking for loose pucks. That’s something they haven’t done enough during this slide.
8:05pm Well the second period started like the first ended – Tampa jumping out of the gate and forcing Roloson to make some big stops.
8:07pm Michael Grabner streaks down the wing and fires a shot wide – that boy has wheels.
8:15pm Tampa’s Ritola gets a five minute charging penalty for his hit on Moulson – Tavares gets two for roughing sticking up for his teammate. Let’s see what they can do.
8:21pm Nothing – maybe two shots for the Islanders and a short handed breakaway by Malone.
8:22pm Trent Hunter heads to the box – for boarding.
8:23pm Tampa scores on the power play – (Clark, St. Louis and Stamkos)
8:28pm Islanders headed to the power play, Hall for hooking
8:35pm Islanders get on the board Moulson from Konopka. 2-1 Tampa
End of the second period shots on goal for Tampa 32 and for the Islanders 26
The early goings of the second period had the Islanders running around scared, they gave up a ton of shots and chased Tampa around the defensive zone. Penalties continued to bite them, giving up a second to Tampa when Trent Hunter was called for boarding. However, right after an Islanders power play expired Matt Moulson would be found on the doorstep by Zenon Konopka for his seventh goal of the season.
The Islanders just need to find that intensity and maintain that level of play in the third period, a period in which they have struggled tremendously throughout this losing streak.
8:57pm And, Josh Bailey opens up the third with a boarding penalty.
9:09pm Oh, yea – live blogging right? Islanders just hit the post.
9:10pm Some chances down low in front of Ellis – Islanders were not in great scoring position and Ellis covers up.
9:14pm Islanders power play coming up – currently 0/3 tonight
9:19pm And, they are 0/4 – 5 minutes remaining in the third
9:25pm Tampa schools the Islanders on how to score – pretty goal 3-1
9:29pm Tavares answers and it’s 3-2
9:32pm And Tampa scores on an empty net – 4-2 Final
Headed down for post game.