There is one thing about being an Islander fan that us Islander fans never seem to get used to. That is being embarrassed. That is just what happened against two of the leagues best being completely out-played, out-worked, and out-classed against the Boston Bruins and Pittsburgh Penguins.
One of those things is understandable. Being outclassed by the leagues best is OK for a young team supposedly on the cusp of a major step forward.
Being out-worked is not one of them.
How many times has the opposition scored the first goal? While you think about that, how many times has the opposition scored on the very first shot of the game?
The Islander started this season like we all expected them to. Hard working, fast skating and competitive. What has happened since them is absolutely unacceptable. So what are the major problems here? Is it time to clean house?
Think of it this way. The Islanders have failed every test set before them this season to this point. One quarter of the season is over and there they sit again, at the absolute bottom of the NHL with one point separating them from the even more disappointing Columbus Blue Jackets.
The difference this season from last is that the Islanders actually look worse than they did during their horrid but similar futile stretch last season. Maybe we would see one game like the one we saw last night against the Penguins. But how can you show an utter lack of caring and work ethic for so many games in a row?
Its disgusting, disappointing and something needs to be done about it. Its almost like the Islanders believed their hype and thought all they had to do was show up and presto! They would be competitive every game. The Boston Bruins alone have made a mockery of the Islanders this season with how they have bombed them off the ice like they are a High School team. Last year the Islanders would have been in the faces of the Penguins and Bruins and both teams may have left the Islanders with two points, but they would feel those effects of a hard fought contest and not the pond hockey exhibition the Islanders are putting on these days.
What can the team do? The Islanders core of Tavares, Moulson, Okposo, Bailey, Streit and DiPietro, are all signed to contracts. The veterans on the team, Rolston, Pandolfo, Eaton, Mottau, Jurcina and Staios all have little or no value.
Jack Capuano has been absolutely lost behind the bench and appears to have lost his young team already and who could blame them. Putting Grabner with Tavares and Moulson makes no sense whatsoever. None of the three is a play maker as they are all shoot first guys. Benching Okposo for three games does what exactly besides wreck his confidence? What on God's green earth did anyone have to gain by starting rookie Anders Nilsson last night against the Penguins? Your paying Rick DiPietro to play hockey and he has not been horrible this year, so why the heck do you go with a rookie?
It's no secret that the fans have turned on Rick DiPietro. It was in my mind the biggest danger when he signed his 15 year contract. Not injuries, not poor play but his own fans turning on him which seems to inevitably happen with players signed to very long contracts.
That being said, why the hell didn't Rick start last night? Say what you want it makes absolutely zero sense to stick the kid in goal last night. None at all.
Jack Capuano gave the Islanders something last season. He gave them an attitude, some confidence, and a strong work ethic. Why has the team taken such am incredible step backward is beyond any one's comprehension to explain. The second half of last season the Islanders were a team no one in the NHL wanted to play. Right now, the Kellenberg High School team could kick their ass.
Someone has to be responsible. Something has to be done. What exactly that is is up to one man, Charles Wang and secondly Garth Snow assuming Snow gets to keep his job.
Maybe its time to bring in a veteran coach and a veteran general manager and let them have a go with this team and give them more than 30 days to do it.