How about the Islanders as of late?
Aside from injuries that continue to mount (Eaton – done for the year, Nielsen – groin, and DiPietro – mystery strain) the Islanders are playing pretty good hockey, (8-2-1 over the last 11). The power play has been clicking at a new rate (seven power play goals over three games) and the youngsters brought up from Bridgeport have been stepping in and filling roles left vacant by their injured veteran teammates. Not too shabby, although – for once I just wish the team could escape the injury bug for a complete season. Perhaps the time is right for some sort of intervention, be it spiritual or otherwise.
How about our boy John Tavares?!?
JT has been giving teams fits down low, both behind the goal line and between the circles. He has been initiating contact, digging for loose pucks and just an overall strength we’ve not seen from him since his awesome performances in the World’s. He has scored two goals in the last few games that have been a great indication that he has the confidence he was lacking earlier this season. He LOVES to stick handle through traffic and make a move in an area that many in the league have a problem doing. He’s scored just over a foot away from the netminders he’s scored on – pretty impressive stuff.
What about this Jeremy Colliton?
Colliton was recalled from Bridgeport to replace the injured Frans Nielsen. Think it worked out? Colliton scored twice on the power play last night, impressive in his own right because we rarely see bodies go to the front of the net the way he did. I wonder if Capuano would want to keep him up with the team instead of dressing Trevor Gillies the next few games. It’s worth a shot.
Another player worth noting, Kevin Poulin. He was stellar in his loss against the Oilers earlier in the week – stopping every shot he faced, but he came up huge again last night. He was sound positionally, controlled his rebounds a lot better than he did his first go round – he did not look out of place despite the tender age of twenty years old. He even earned his first NHL win in his first NHL start thanks to Tavares’ heroics in OT.
It’s great to see the team rebound the way they have after their 14 game losing streak, they have done just about everything in their power to improve their game – despite trading away James Wisniewski and Dwayne Roloson.
If the Islanders win at the very least two more games over the next batch – would you say it’s safe to say that the streak did not hurt as bad? I don’t expect this team to squeak into the playoffs, but I like the way they have been playing and hope it continues.