Random Thoughts returns to the voice!!! I present 5 Random points on the current state of the Islanders, who last night went up and stomped out a victory over #55 and his hated Maple Leafs. Here we go -
1 - Islanders Leafs Rivalry - It has been said before. The Islanders and Leafs always put on entertaining games. They are fun, usually involve lots of goals, hits, fights and tense moments. Everything you could ask for in a rivalry. I may get flamed for this but I think the Islander Leaf rivalry has been hotter than the Islander-Ranger rivalry lately. Maybe thats because we havent seen our brethren from the City in so long. Another blunder by the NHL.
2 - DO or DIE - So far they are DOing. The Islanders have passed stage 2 of their 7 games do or die campaign. 2 must win games, 2 wins. More shocking than the fact that they won is the fact the team is scoring goals. 9 goals in 2 games? Ruslan Fedotenko, who has not done much of anything since the first week of the season is on fire. The "Bridgepoort Connection" of Tambelini, Comeau and Nielson are playing well. Comrie and Guerin seem to be reinvigorating their games. Thats all well and good but one loss at this point, especially to a conference opponent is almost a death knell. The team currently sits in 12th in the East and 4 points behind the doomed 8th playoff spot, if you want to call it a playoff spot. I call it the Ottawa meat grinder. The team vaulted over Florida to get into 12th, which means there are still 4 more teams to crawl over to get there. One of those teams is Atlanta who the Islanders will take on tomorrow night. A loss on home ice in front of what is supposed to be a sell-out crowd would be devastating. Next up after Atlanta is San Jose, which I can tell you people is not going to be a picnic.
3 - Worried or Pumped? You tell me. The team has "exploded" for 9 goals in the last 2 games. on the other hand if you want to look at the other side, they have allowed 7 goals in those games also. Is this because Nolan has loosened the reigns on the team or are they playing poor defense? Color me happy that I actually saw Berard AND Bergeron in uniform manning the power play and lo and behold -4 power play goals against the Leafs. Maybe that also is a reason the team has allowed so many goals... the investigation continues.
4 - Total Goal count - 143. Worst in the NHL and one less than our zillionaire friends from across the river. Think about that for a second.
5 - Rick going cold? This is not a time for Rick to be allowing weak goals. Every goaltender goes through it, and Rick is doing it now. At this point sooner or later it will cost the team. I am curious to see how the Atlanta game plays out for Rick. Hold them to 2 or less and they have a great shot at 2 points.
Let me know where you stand on any or all of these thoughts, or post your own Random Thoughts on the Islanders.