The Islanders gave away a win last night that they should have easily held on to. The Wild were playing with a depleted roster that is trying to perform under a new system, much like the Islanders of last year. Despite gaining a 2-1 lead after being down a goal in the first period, the Isles failed to hold on in the final minute as Owen Nolan buried the puck passed Biron.
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Where was the defense on that play? How could they start breaking out of the zone without keeping an eye on Nolan, who sat all alone in front of the net, without the puck even being cleared yet?
Streit and Gervais were the two that were on the ice, and I couldn't tell which defenseman was closest to Nolan, therefore I couldn't tell which one was more out of position.
Either way, this team's defense has come into question several times throughout the season. They have shown an inability to clear loose pucks in front of the net, or leave a guy like Owen Nolan all alone waiting for a pass.
Hopefully the loss stings as much as this cough does because they have a chance to step foot on to a fresh sheet of ice tonight and redeem themselves. Gordon looked infuriated after the game, and he definitely should have been. Backstrom was playing a weak game, showing how out of position he was on several occasions, and the Isles couldn't capitalize on their chances.
Instead, they gave the opposition opportunities to get back in the game, including a 5-on-3 powerplay and a couple of other trips to the box in the third period. Their kill worked very well, but you can only shoot yourself so many times in the foot before you lose it.
Tonight they visit the St. Louis Blues, another team that is struggling in the Western Conference. They are 7-8-4 and have a 4-7-1 record at home. In fact, both the Blues and the Wild are tied for points.
Although they are not the same opponent, the Isles get to have a rematch of the same scenario they had last night. They better come out playing hard and determined to earn the two points they should have taken last night.
I started to write a blog about this team's performance after the first quarter of the season, only covering the players that make up the youth movement. However, my computer lost connection and I lost what I had started. Being that I had spent a good time on it, I did not have the patience to start it again right now, but you can expect it to be up hopefully by tomorrow.
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