Christian Arnold, Islanders Point Blank:UNIONDALE, N.Y. — The Islanders had a rough weekend and they know it.
“This weekend was a little bit of a wakeup call for us,” Matt Martin said following Monday’s practice at Nassau Coliseum. The Islanders fell 3-2 to both the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday, and the Nashville Predators on Saturday. “We have to play our best hockey all the time. We can’t take nights off and Chicago and Nashville are two pretty good teams that took it to us a little bit.”
Neither game was the Isles best performance. In Chicago they fell behind early and battled back, but ultimately lost. In Nashville the Islanders’ struggles continued. Despite leading in the second period, the team could not hold the momentum and allowed two unanswered goals that sunk their hopes of a win.
“I don’t think we played our game there in either of the games,” Matt Moulson said. “We had spurts where we played well, but obviously two good teams that have had success over their last few years. They know how to win and if you don’t play your best games against them you’re not going to come out with two points. I think that was the case this past weekend.”
Despite the two losses — the Isles first two of the young season — Moulson wasn’t overly concerned with how the weekend went.
“It’s two games there’s still 77 to go,” he said. “You have to make sure you’re playing the type of style of game that you want and continute to work on things you have to. I don’t think there is any need for panic.”
The Islanders will now begin a span that will have them playing six of their next seven games at Nassau Coliseum. A place where the team has been shaky. Last season they went 10-11-3 at the Coliseum.
Head coach Jack Capuano isn’t concerned about last season’s record at home, saying his team has a “singular focus.”
“We just want to make sure we focus on one period at a time,” he explained. “Not look at the home stand as a week and a half or whatever it is. Singular focus, one shift at a time, win your shift, do your job and your work ethic will dictate the scoreboard end of story.”
To kick off the Islander home stand on the right foot, Moulson believes it will be all about creating chances.
“We definitely have to create more chances out there,” he said. “I don’t think we created that much over the past two games, so that’s going to be a big thing. They’ve got some good players, a great goaltender and we’re going to have to create quality chances for ourselves.”
NOTES: Former Islander Radek Martinek skated with the team during Monday’s practice. Martinek signed a waiver to practice with the team, but has not signed a contract. “He just signed a waiver and is skating with us,” Capuano said. … Capuano also changed up some of the lines during practice, which included dropping Matt Moulson down to the third line.