Islanders 7, Dallas 3 — Four Goal Second Powers Islanders

Screen Shot 2014-01-06 at 9.45.19 PM

Box/TOI || Highlights || Fancy Stats || Grabs Tracker

Kevin Schultz

Seriously, who are the real Islanders?

After a sleepy first period where the Stars took a 2-0 lead to the intermission and Evgeni Nabokov left with an injury, it looked like another “what will go wrong next?” kind of night for the Islanders. And then the Isles scored four in the second, three in the third to trounce Dallas 7-3 at the Coliseum. It was 20 minutes of medicore-to-bad hockey followed inexplicably by 40 minutes of great hockey. If they can channel the intensity level of the last two periods more often, then they’ll really have something.

Everything seemed to go the Islanders way tonight. It was one of those “easy” victories that fans can revel in and just enjoy the last 10 minutes instead of stressing out a close game. The power play was clicking, 3-for-6 on the night. Young Islanders stepped up and contributed; Brock Nelson, Calvin de Haan and Ryan Strome combined for four points on the night, including two goals. Peter Regin — REGIN! — scored tonight and inexplicably had his best game as an Islander tonight (by a country mile). More of all of this, please.

John Tavares Plays Hockey Really Well

Obvious statement is obvious.

John Tavares, man. That’s a hell of a game right there. Three goals, two assists for five points. He’s now third in the NHL in points after a breakout game tonight.

The first goal was a slam dunk off a beauty of a pass from Thomas Vanek, tying the game at 2-2 in the second. Rich Peverly flubbed a pass in front of his own net and, well, you really shouldn’t do that when Tavares and Thomas Vanek are in the area. This goal is embedded below for posterity.

What a great pass from Vanek.

So, Tavares factored into five of the team’s seven goals and helped the power play absolutely go to work. The Isles were 3-of-6 on the man advantage including Ryan Strome’s First NHL Goal.

Don’t overlook Vanek, either. He had two helpers tonight and now has 27 points in 28 games as an Islanders. Man, if they can figure out a way to keep him…

Welcome Back, Matt Donovan

Well, that’s a tough way to start things back up in his first NHL game since being called up from Bridgeport… To give the Stars the lead early in the first (yeesh) Donovan made an ill-advised pass to the middle of his own zone that was intercepted and converted by Jamie Benn.

On the Dallas side of things, an excellent play by an excellent player. On the Donovan side, a terrible, no good, very bad way to re-initiate oneself to the NHL. It’s the plays like these that make Donovan so frustrating to watch, and also apparently the rationale to send him down last time.

He’s clearly out grown the AHL, putting up a point per game when he was recently sent back down. He’s also clearly got some kinks to work out in the NHL.

Overall, his play is actually quite good. But it’s hard to watch these big, costly mistakes rear their ugly heads. Growing pains.

Coming Up, More Poulin

Evgeni Nabokov left tonight’s game in the first period with an injury. There’s no word on what it is or the severity of it but I’d say there’s no doubt that you’ll see Kevin Poulin tomorrow night. You also may see lots more of Kevin Poulin in the coming week(s), again, depending on the severity of Nabokov’s injury.

It’s unfortunate for Nabokov and the Islanders, the veteran netminder has been playing well since returning from a groin injury. Now Poulin, who hasn’t seen much action since Nabokov returned, will have another chance to prove himself. The defense has looked better in front of Nabokov lately and Brian Strait has returned. Will Poulin fare better this time around?




101 comments
nics21
nics21

People need to relax with the Donovan is awful and he isn't an NHL'er. He is a rookie and has had some rookie mistakes. Everyone makes them. His just have happened to turn into goals. Having said that his Corsi is one of the best on the team. Basically when he is on the ice the Isles are controlling play. I'll take that any day. His Corsi is like 10-13 points higher then Amac who is horrible.

dzruggie
dzruggie

Anyone happen to catch JT's 1st goal?  If there is any doubt (hard to believe) about how elite Vanek is and how the chemistry between him and JT (and KO) is producing.  Anyone still want to just go with Vanek and Moulson have equal numbers?  Love Moulson but you have to give to receive- including the picks.  Signing him is a must.  

bubbamac19
bubbamac19

a few thoughts...

1. congrats to Ryan Strome (a VERY nice ovation from the sparse but vocal crowd)

2. congrats to JT on a phenomenal effort (and a generous hat donation by the crowd)

3. Seems to me that since the arrival of deHaan, the overall D has improved a few notches

4. Regin is a terrific depth signing, still don't like him as a regular

5. Whatever wafer thin chances the Isles have at a playoff push rest on the shoulders of Poulin and Nilsson. Go get 'em fellas.

jepliberty
jepliberty

Anyone else have all their posts pending, or to be edited everyone of mine is, and I don't know why, nor do I get a response from the moderator for the reason why.

jepliberty
jepliberty

Could it be that all this team needs for next season is a reliable goalie and some size, grit, and toughness on the blue line, with the help of the owner and Snow, and oh yeah, dumping A Mac.

erika
erika

Finally...a game I did not need half a deoderant while watching! And finally...those behind no look passes by Vanek that have been driving me nuts, worked to perfection tonight!  Truly hope they have figured it out, and this is the norm, at least with the "battle level" (haha)! We have been screaming to put Strome with JT....and there it is....awesome results! 


Congrats to Kyle and Danielle on their baby girl!.....A little princess in an Islander one-sy is a beautiful thing! Except for Nabby, all around great day in Islander land!

Ari BZ
Ari BZ

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE LOCK UP VANEK!!!!!!!!!

isles23
isles23

Hell of game boys!! Bring that effort on a nightly basis and all will be well.

realhlywd
realhlywd

We'll most likely see Boulton and Carkner in the lineup against the Leafs with Regin and Donovan out.

palffy
palffy

Lotta good things tonight, obviously.  One thing that stuck out to me though was Nelson's goal.  That was a man's move and shot.  Glad to finally see that out of him.  Only been waiting the whole season.


It would be so huge if him and Strome could start contributing regularly.  JT/Vanek/KO are always gonna get their points.  If the second and third lines can start really putting points up, combined with what I believe is one of the best if not the best fourth line in hockey, then we're onto something.    Just keep inching closer to .500 each game,  The real tragedy is gonna be in April when we inevitably finish 4th or 5th in the division, only missing the playoffs by a few points and we look back at November and December at all the points left on the table.

Don22
Don22

I am so glad they won tonight.  I was afraid that if they lost people would start blaming Okposo's wife for having the baby on a game night.

I went to my first game this year tonight and one thing I noticed - Ryan Strome does not seem out of place.  Even on a third line he keeps his motor going all the time, looks to create and was good on the back check.  He may not be scoring as much as people would like, but I truly think he is making the most of his minutes and learning every game.  He is not being wasted.


Also, the crowd was pretty good tonight.  There were some quiet stretches, but they rolled with the team were very supportive.  Fun night for sure.

Joey Ferguson
Joey Ferguson

that goaltender interference call was a joke

bubbamac19
bubbamac19

@dzruggie I saw it; it was great. Not as great as his slap shot a week or so back though.  Trade was still too big a risk. Too pricy a rental and while I am thankful for his recent play, it took too long for him to get going. Isles are in a weak negotiating position. Ryan Smyth Redux. Tavares vs. home/wife/college/lifestyle will be a tough sell but I hope they sign him. I'm happy to show him the north shore if stays!!!

Don22
Don22

@dzruggieI agree.  After that goal I turned to the guys behind me and said you have to be crazy to not want to sign him.  It may turn out that he decides he wants to be elsewhere - but I still think it was worth the risk.  Now if Garth turns around and offers him 5 million, then shame on him.  It has to be a real, competitive offer.  If he walks, as long as I know we made a good, legitimate offer I'll live with it. 

Don22
Don22

@bubbamac19Being at the game you can see more of what players do without the puck than on TV.  Strome doesn't take a shift off.  He is constantly moving, looking to get in the open and back checking.  I know we want to see him on the 1st or 2nd line, but I don't think being on the 3rd line is hurting him at all.  I think he is doing the right things to learn from this and will grow from it. 

phishstyx1
phishstyx1

@bubbamac19 I'm with ya bubba, this dehaan kid is impressive, great skater and sound positionally. Kind of reminds me of your boy Vladimir Malakov

since72
since72

@jepliberty My posts are often delayed.  I leave the site, come back in a few minutes and there they are (sometimes out of order).  i don't believe I am saying anything controversial.  Really not a good format although much of the profanity and hateful remarks have disappeared. 

wvAL
wvAL

Didn't we need that at end of last season?

Jim Miller
Jim Miller

@jeplibertyOne thing I'd love to see is DeHaan on the PP. He's real poised and seems to make the right play all the time.

dzruggie
dzruggie

@orange2327 You can always count on Orange to throw the black curtain of death over the blog....Thank you again.  IS there ever any light for you?  Can you ever feel a bit a restraint and perhaps timing?  You and several others my goodness.... Sure they may lose tonight - it happens.  But after a bashing that is your comment?????  Come on already and grow out of it.

Don22
Don22

@orange2327It's better than a loss, right?  And finally a fairly easy blowout.  Come on Vic.  Try to smile just a little.

dzruggie
dzruggie

@erika Strome is a center so you are saying finally putting Strome on the PP?  When KO is back Strome moves back down.  And for the record you are completely minimizing Vanek's skill set in your comment....when you know that move was elite.  It was not no look, he saw JT and re-positioned himself and then while in motion completed a behind the back, through his legs pass into the open area for JT to tap in the goal.....Sorry I am on the pro Vanek soap box today and rightfully so!!

dzruggie
dzruggie

@isles23 Great intensity.  I do have 1 observation though, up by 3 there is no need for a full line attack into the Stars zone.  The "elite" teams (AKA Ducks, Kings etc) all go into shut down mode, dump the puck in deep, do not get caught in the O-zone and do not give an inch on the D-side.  Up 3 no big deal as they were like sharks smelling blood out there, but against a more accomplished foe, they need to practice this shut down hold a lead hockey - something that as already cost them tons of points this year.  It is a big deal....

Joey Ferguson
Joey Ferguson

@realhlywd i wouldnt sit regin. this was his best game by far. sit collin mcdonald if anything.... and id sit hickey for carkner

jepliberty
jepliberty

@palffy

Yeah, been there, done that, leaving points on the table, it's a staple with this team, and the unwillingness of the 2 idiots to fix it.

King Panda
King Panda

@palffy I looked at the schedule after the olympics and it tooks favorable to them plus they will get Visnovsky back. Their March and April schedule is: 


3/1 at NJD 

3/2 vs. FLA 

3/4  at  WPG 

3/6 at  EDM

3/7  at CAL 

3/10 at  VAN 

3/14 vs. SJ

3/15 vs. BUF 

3/18 vs. MIN 

3/23 vs. CLS 

3/25 at CAR 

3/27  at TB 

3/29 vs. NJD 

4/1 vs. FLA 

4/2 at OTT 

4/5 vs. WSH

4/6  at CLS 

4/8 vs. OTT 

4/10 at  MON 

4/13  at NJD 

4/15 at BUF 


So based on the record so far over 44 games these are winnable games esp. when Visnovsky is back. 

Don22
Don22

@Joey FergusonI was at the game and had a great view of that call.  It was so bad that you actually had to laugh.  CZ hit the post harder than he did the goalie.  If the ref felt that he had to make that call, then he had to call diving too.  They missed a number of calls tonight.

neeza06
neeza06

@bubbamac19 @dzruggie Again you cant just say we have to convince him not to go home.  All these rumors of him going to Minnesota have never been confirmed by anyone legit. Minnesota has never said anything about showing interest and no one in Vaneks camp has said he has a desire to play for Minnesota next year. The rumors were started by Minnesota sports writers (one in particular) who were only reporting that they thought Vanek would be a good fit and make sense for next year and the hockey world just ran with it. The main sports writer who first proposed this even wrote an article saying that he thought this was a possible scenario still but people are jumping the gun big time with all the vanek to minnesota rumors.  


Yes minnesota will have a good amount of capspace but they alrealdy have a lot of money locked up in Parise Suter Pominville and Koivu and will have a lot of good young players that need to be signed in the next 2-3 years as well as Josh Harding.  I highly doubt they pay Vanek the 7-8 million/  year that he can demand on the FA market. He will prob only sign there for a discount (5-6 million range) and he has shown no indication of wanting to do that.  He has played his whole career outside of his hometown like many players do and it has worked out fine.  If every player put playing close to their home as their top priority i assure Toronto would not be on such a long cup drought.


I give the isles a 50/50 chance of resigning vanek which still isnt as good as one would hope but i assure that the 50% chance he doesnt resign doesnt entirely rely on him going to minnesota.

dzruggie
dzruggie

@Don22 Agree - he is not signing for $5M.  I do not believe Vanek is so eager to walk away.  The team (in spite of the many half empty perspectives here) is on the rise and there are worse things then riding shot gun with one of the top 5 players in the NHL for 7 years.  

bubbamac19
bubbamac19

@Don22@bubbamac19 I don't have a worry in the world about Strome; once he gets the puck off his stick a bit quicker and gains some strength, he'll be a force. He looks like he has fun out there too.

dzruggie
dzruggie

@phishstyx1 @bubbamac19 de Hann is playing really well and while still learning his positional play, he is here to stay and I agree he has solidified the D.  While I am no fan of Donovan I believe the hope is he will step up and make Amac expendable at the trade deadline?  But if de Hann continues to grow and Viz comes back, again I can see perhaps Amac becomes available - not that I would trade him per se as I feel he is a good D but placed in the incorrect role.  The guy blocks shots....tons of them

dzruggie
dzruggie

@Jim Miller @jepliberty perhaps.  Amac really is not a QB and I keeping watching to see what I am missing.  That said his role on the PP has been to keep the puck in and be the vortex to move the puck from one side to the other.  A play making D there would add fire power....

grand_puba
grand_puba

@Joey Ferguson @realhlywd I don't think you can sit Regin either, not the Colin has been bad lately, but a guy scores and you pull him may send the wrong message or something like that. Hickey over donovan though? Are you down on hickey or is just because Donovan just got brought up. With hickey out, I wonder what the pairings would be.

realhlywd
realhlywd

@Joey Ferguson@realhlywd 

Agree although as difficult as it is, I'm trying to go inside Cappy's mind. He seems for whatever reason to favor CM over the other lower tier guys.

palffy
palffy

@King Panda perfect recipe for them to go on a tear and just miss the playoffs while also winding up with a medicare draft pick (not that that would matter with the Vanek trade).  But I think at this point, playoffs or not, every win matters in terms of retaining Vanek.  He JT and KO are starting to really look in sync with each other, and it would be a shame to see him walk/get traded at the deadline, and the odds of that happening get higher every time they lose.  Looking ahead to next year, Reinhart will be up, Pokka will start the year in BPT and likely be up at some point unless the D is improved.  You have to figure there will be some sort of additions in the off season.  And next years gonna be a fun year, being the last year at the Coli and having BK on the horizon.  Hopefully they can sell Vanek on all that.

Joey Ferguson
Joey Ferguson

@Don22 @Joey Ferguson twice i saw the some guys on the stars grab islanders plaers by the face. once on grabs. and once on cizikas. i can see missing a trip or a high stick. but how do you miss that many completly OBVIOUS calls... dont forget about that 2 handed swing at hamonic.. that should have been a double minor.

Matt
Matt

Yeah horrible penalty call on CZ there but they went into PK beast mode after that! Dallas didn't even get a shot off...that was awesome.

bubbamac19
bubbamac19

@dzruggie@phishstyx1@bubbamac19 AMac used to be my whipping boy but I think you're right; he's used too much and in every role. He has a ton of heart and guts and would be a great 3rd pair Dman. I'm really, really encouraged by deHaan.

Donovan should play major minutes; he won't gain confidence sitting on the bench and I doubt he'll cost them a playoff spot. I've seen enough to believe in him.

Joey Ferguson
Joey Ferguson

@dzruggie @Joey Ferguson @grand_puba @realhlywd rookies make rookie mistakes. cant punish him for it. messes up his confidence and hie development. let him play and let him learn. it was 1 mistake in the game. alot of rookies do much much worse. after that what else can you point out that he did wrong? very very little....

dzruggie
dzruggie

@Joey Ferguson @grand_puba @realhlywd Let's not minimize one mistake here.  In a close game (and expect the majority of the games to be close), one mistake WILL cost the game.  I hope Donovan proves me wrong as I just do not see him as an NHL D.  

Joey Ferguson
Joey Ferguson

@grand_puba @Joey Ferguson @realhlywd need the size. donovan is a little bit tougher in the corners. im a big hickey fan. but against the leafs i think donovan is the right choice. like i said. donovan made one big mistake tonight. but he played very well after that. to sit him wouldnt do any good to his development. and pairings are still pending the news on hamonic...... if he has to mis a few games carkner and donovan will be in tomorrow.

Don22
Don22

@Joey Ferguson@Don22Hammer's high stick was right in front of me.  I thought I was going to see his nose come flying over the boards. The worst thing about the non call on I think the CZ face grab was the ref was right behind them - maybe 2 feet away and looking right at it.