Jack Capuano, who came into the job saying he would not name his starting goaltenders in advance, has been doing it almost ever since. The head coach announced Rick DiPietro was starting at the NVMC more than 24 hours before gametime. In his postgame presser after the 6-5 loss last night, Capuano said Dwayne Roloson would get the start in Madision Square Garden.
That said, we’re not going to make any of these losses about the coach again…right?
Without question, the defense was weak in the 6-5 loss last night. But this is what happens when a No. 4 defenseman is asked to be a No. 1, when a sixth defenseman is asked to play first-pair minutes. Mike Mottau is out, and the Islanders did not even attempt to replace some of the offense and minutes of the great Mark Streit. As a result, there are going to be nights like last night at the Coliseum, like in Carolina, like in Philadelphia. Sometimes, it’s not always about the goaltending.
Give credit to youngster John Tavares for being appropriately mad as heck. “There are no excuses,” Tavares told reporters after last night’s game, the Islanders’ 15th loss in 16. “There are too many lapses and it’s costing us.”
The Islanders have just three wins in regulation through 23 games this season, five in total. With just 15 points on Dec. 3, they are 14 points behind eighth-place Atlanta for eighth place in the East (the Islanders have three games in hand). Now it’s on the veteran Roloson to settle things down tonight, when the Islanders have their pride on the line.
NYC Viewing Party Tonight: Yahoo! Puck Daddy blog is hosting a viewing party in Manhattan tonight at Irish Times, across the street from the Garden. The event starts at 6:30 and goes into the night. I’ll be there from about 6:45 through the end of the first period before returning to the MSG press room to cover for FanHouse. I’m told Dominik from LightHouse Hockey, the best Islanders blog out there, will be in attendance at Irish Times. I hope to see other representatives from the Country there as well.
Point Blank Night on Dec. 23: We are tentatively working on plans to host a Point Blank Holiday Party on Dec. 23 at SOCIAL when the Islanders play in New Jersey. I’ve heard over the last two years from several college students requesting we do one of these when they’re home from school. It would be wonderful to try and get everyone together one more time. All ages welcomed.
I’m well aware Dec. 23 may not be ideal, but it’s the only date available during that period. Hopefully, many of you can drop by at least for an hour. Please let me know in Comments if that works for you. If we host it, I guarantee we’ll make it special – the best one yet. At the last PB Night, the Islanders picked up a rare two points. Will finalize one way or the other next week, so stay tuned.
Comments on this post. Lots of good stuff planned for next week, so I hope you’ll continue to check in. Thanks.