Isles suffered yet another goaltender injury, with Kevin Poulin hurting himself during warmups. He will have an MRI tomorrow, and will likely miss the opportunity to play in his hometown, Montreal when the Islanders take on the Canadiens Thursday night. AHLer Mikko Koskinen was forced into the starting role, and if there were any questions about whether this kid was NHL ready or not, well, they've been answered: he's not. Clearly was nervous and unprepared, yielding two goals on the first two shots faced. Afterwards he would settle down, until he decided to skate about three miles out of the net, allowing Tomas Kaberle an easy goal to put the Leafs back in front after the Isles had tied the score.
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Some more thoughts from tonight's game:
1) John Tavares is playing MUCH better than his current goal-scoring drought would suggest. The sophomore made some very nice plays in this game, made several nice moves, and is undoubtedly improving in the faceoff circle. Also, in this "slump" of his, he's been racking up the assists. He's creating and getting scoring chances, the goals will come.
2) As mentioned above, Mikko Koskinen is nowhere near ready to play in the National Hockey League. Period. He was never really able to establish a rhythm in this game, except for a stretch in which he would make 17 saves in a row before imploding in the third period. This seemingly endless line of goalie injuries, plus the absence of one Evgeni Nabakov have made things very difficult for the Isles of late.
3) Michael Grabner deserves an extension. Like yesterday. In fact, if I'm Garth, I am getting on the phone with his agent immediately following tonight's game. The guy can break the sound barrier with his speed, he creates breakaways and odd-man rushes seemingly out of nothing, and he is an invaluable asset, especially on the penalty kill as he showed tonight. Heck of a game for him tonight, and he was rewarded with yet another goal.
Let's hope for a better showing thursday night.
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