The Islanders came into 2008 by nipping a slide at that was from the end of November until mid-December. They came out of Colorado OT loss being railed on for not having their head in the game by the coach and captain. So, if this was still the Isles stepping up, you would have thought that the team would be raring to go at it versus Edmonton. Right?
Instead, they got lulled to sleep.
Has anyone noticed that Ruslan Fedotenko
has disappeared? Evidently Ted Nolan has noticed. Feds had only 8:56 minutes last night. As much time as Andy Hilbert
. Only other person with less minutes was Tim Jackman
with 5 minutes.
In fact, since the end of November in the 16 games that Fedotenko played (he was out for 2 with a shoulder injury):
Only 1 goal and 3 assists.
Compare this to his first 16 games: 5 goals and 6 assists. Thats a pretty substantial power outage.
Right now, he's on pace for well under 40pts this season, maybe even just 35 or so. Which, sadly is his usual output, which has frustrated other organizations on the past. And despite the facets he brings to the game, he sits with a -7 and at this rate will end up with -14. So how much is he really contributing to the positives?
Same holds true of Josef Vasicek
. Let's take a deeper look as Vasicek lately. Minute-wise, he's also lost some major icetime. He had just above 12 minutes last night. So Nolan sees something there too. And his stats have had the same outage as Feds lately.
Last 16 games: 1 goal and 4 assists
. And go back 8 games before that? 1 goal and zero assists. His outage has been for a while.
His first 16? 7 goals and 3 assists. Viva la difference!
Is it any wonder that the Isles have been hit or miss? Two men that are slated as top 6 forwards have been completely missing in action.
In fact, if you look more closely at most of the Isles forwards, many of those top 6 will only have 40ish points or less.
So it begs us to ask, since the Isles Goals For
has been putrid this season. Is it really any wonder????
And furthermore, we must ask this . . .
Is the Isles team limited by their personnel? Or does this team have a complete output drought by almost half of their top 6 only mid-way in the season?
Right now this offense is being carried by Comrie and Guerin, both of whom came off their own slides. Guerin has 9 goals and 1 assist in his last 16. Comrie has 5 goals and 8 assists in the last 16.
So let's get back to last night, where the Isles seemed to step back and wait for the Oilers to do something. And do something they did. At least 2 of the 4 tallies for Edmonton were pretty savable goals. Of course, this is easy for me to say, because the only thing I can stop is a sandwich sliding past me. But for <b>Rick DiPietro</b>, who has made many a wondrous save and solid positioning in the past, seemed a bit off in both last night.
Last night's loss was a team effort, and therefore a team failure. The defense seemed completely unable to push forwards to the side, nor even stick with their man. The constant 2 on 1's, no matter if Rick was soft on two goals or not, still caused havoc. And, the giant goose egg that sits as the Isles offensive output really stipulate that even if a 2 goals by EDM, that the Isles really never were present at all in the province of Alberta.
And there is little time for introspection or adjustment. They play Vancouver and Roberto Luongo tonight. If Rick is still off his game, not to mention the half the Isles forwards, it won't be a good night in Isles Country.