Dallas came to town with a thunderous ZZ Top crescendo. The Isles unfortunately channeled Lisa Loeb & Nine Stories as they gave away pucks to the Stars team as if they were going out of style. Add to all this is that Brendan Witt might be out for a spell. He left the game with a "Lower Body Injury" which looked a lot like a knee injury.
Don't let the 5 to 3 score fool you. The Isles gooses were cooked in a lopsided affair as the Stars carved the almost nonexistent Isles defense with a surgical precision.
The crowd jeered Rick DiPietro's first home game, and he certainly wasn't very good last night. Nor was he the reason that the defense folded in on itself like an origami piece.
The post-game spun like a McCain rally, as coach Scott Gordon plied that he felt the Isles had put forth a better effort at his system. This effort led to a cavalcade of giveaways and quite a few penalties. The Isles basically let Sean Avery, one of the more overpaid third liners in the league, steer them into penalties.
Post-game interviews by Freddy Meyer and Bill Guerin also solidified the mantra that they were having a better system effort quickly as they were given Gordon's statement on a platter by the press in the lockeroom.
There are several issues in this line of thought. They were badly outclassed, outmatched, and outplayed by a team who came in slow footed and backed-up at the start of the game. Turco, who got better as the Stars were winning, was the lone pylon as the Isles were able to pierce the Stars D which were one of the worst in the NHL. But, the Isles kept handing back the puck and Dallas gained momentum thereafter on power plays.
As my co-Blog Box blogger, Doug, at NEW YORK ISLANDERS: Official's Outlook (http://islesofficialsoutlook.blogspot.com
) stated plainly:
"Everyone knows that the first two months the refs will call it tight in order to set the tone"
Well, he said something highly intelligent like that, showing how a refs background is an excellent pedigree for a blogger. I look forward to working with him and the many others in the Blog Box this season. I will be featuring many of them in these blogs over the season.
Why are the Isles seem to be last to understand this about the refs and calls? Marginal plays will and have been called and will be continued to have them called.
Despite the Isles hot air of good vibes on understanding and playing the system better, Scott Gordon was later than usual in getting to the press conference and there was a players closed door meeting before we of the press came sweeping in. Sure, for a few moments and shifts the Isles did press well. As they did the entire NJ game and St. Louis game. But, make no mistake about it, last night was a stinker and the deficiencies were glaring. Within that reality, there are grains of good things: Bergie, Mark Streit, and Bruno Gervais had solid outings.
Stats du Jour:
Bill Guerin led the Isles in shots, with 5, getting a goal and making his presence known.
Sean Bergenheim had 4 shots and was one of the more shining silver linings to the game, taking advantage of the more time given on the ice.
Mark Streit had a goal and 2 assists as he played almost 28 minutes.
DP with a .828 Save PCT.
Mike Comrie with 3 giveaways and a -2.
Bruno Gervais with a whopping 28 minutes and an assist.
Chris Campoli comes back and does over 20 minutes.
Richard Park with a -3 on the evening.