The Islanders dropped their fifth straight game tonight, and the second in row which they let the game get away from them in the third period. With a 3-2 lead heading into the last frame, they were a victim of poor play — three goals against and outshot 11-4 — and bad luck, as Travis Hamonic had the lead carom off his chest and past Rick DiPietro.
Travis Hamonic is the kind of player who wears his emotions on his sleeve and will tell you face to face that he’s pissed off. Rarely do you see the youngster with a stick slamming display like after today’s game. You can’t say he doesn’t care.
John Tavares, the leader, assistant
coach captain and everything else Islanders, showed about as much emotion as we’ll ever see from a calm and calculated kid.
It was another one of those losses that the Islanders failed to finish strong. 40 minutes of competitive play and a 3-2 lead into the second intermission followed up with a clunker of a third period. It seems to be as tiring to the players as it is the fans.
The frustration is mounting for players and fans alike after a fifth straight loss. The fans seemed as agonized, with jeers at certain intervals and a general non-showing with 9,622 announced in attendance (to be fair, it was a Monday night game, after a snow storm, against a non-marquee opponent).
Getting out of this five-game hole is going to get harder, as another date with the Rangers at Madison Square Garden lies ahead.
The Islanders had five power plays in this game, and managed to score on four of them. Those were their first power play goals in about a week, since last Sunday against New Jersey. It was nice to see that turn around — Visnovsky now gives them two serious point threats — but to counteract excellent man-advantage play, they also couldn’t be any worse 5-on-5.
The team managed no goals 5-on-5, while allowing all six — yes, all six — Hurricanes goals at even strength.
There was some tough luck such as the deflection of Alex Semin’s goal to give the Canes their first lead of the game, 4-3 in the third, which was one of the worst you’ll ever see. Semin’s shot was likely going wide, then may have deflected off Eric Stall or Matt Moulson before hitting a surprised Travis Hamonic in the chest and finding its way to the top shelf.
There were also some nice goals for the home team. Josh Bailey had an excellent feed to Frans Nielsen for the game’s opening goal. Matt Moulson made no mistake and roofed a pass from Brad Boyes, who seems to be quite at home playing with Tavares and Moulson.
Then there was the defense and netminder that allowed five goals and the team that couldn’t muster anything at even strength. Rick DiPietro allowed five goals on only 25 shots, and looked like someone who, despite being healthy, is not going to steal victories for this team anytime soon.
The Islanders are now 0-5 with zero points in the month of February.
Things won’t get any easier. Here’s the upcoming schedule; at MSG, then home for the Devils (again) and the Flyers.
No one’s ever questioned the ability or effort level of the two players who appeared distraught in the above video. But it takes a lot more than two to turn a team around.