Showing posts with label Kyle Okposo. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kyle Okposo. Show all posts

January 28, 2014

Isles Fall Flat as Bruins Pounce on Miscues in 6-3 Win

The Isles small rut continued as they dropped their third straight game, falling in a back-and-forth game that the Bruins ended up having the last laugh in. They had lots of trouble, particularly when it came to trying to contain the line of Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and Reilly Smith. Marchand lead the way with four points.

January 22, 2014

Another Game, Another two goal Comeback for Isles - This Time vs. Rangers

If there's one really positive thing we can say about the way this Isles team is playing right now, it's that they never panic when they get down early in games.

Once again, the Isles found themselves in a very familiar position, and once again much to the chagrin of Sean it happened early on in the first period. But after less than stellar defensive plays by Matt Donovan, Calvin de Haan and John Tavares allowed Chris Kreider get control of the puck and find a wide open Rick Nash, there was no doubt he was scoring and the Isles were going to be chasing from behind early once again.

January 21, 2014

Isles Battle Back to Split Home-and-Home with Flyers

I think we've all finally figured out the Isles strategy for winning games. They cannot have a lead going into the third period.

Once again, the team found themselves trailing after two, with the Flyers holding a 3-1 advantage. While it's tough to say two goal leads are commanding even in today's NHL, this was a game where the Isles did not look too crisp. As a matter of fact, both teams looked a bit sluggish, and the Isles caught a lot of breaks just because of miscues by the Flyers in the offensive zone.

January 15, 2014

Isles Streak Ends as Turnovers Plentiful; Strome Sent to Bridgeport

The Isles came back down to Earth on Tuesday night as their hot stretch came to an end in Florida, as they dropped a 4-2 decision to a team that has given them some trouble in recent years. And for the Isles, it was a collapse in a big way.

January 3, 2014

Isles, Okposo Each Make Statements in OT Win Over Hawks

After another impressive come from behind win on Tuesday against the Boston Bruins, the Islanders were coming back home to face the other team from the Stanley Cup Finals, the Chicago Blackhawks. Unfortunately for the Isles, they were on an 0-4-4 run at home, so it's been anything but an advantage.

December 30, 2013

Isles Rally from Three Goal Deficit to Stun Wild 5-4

Given the fact that the Islanders were playing the Minnesota Wild, you just knew that Nino Niederreiter would do his best to make his presence felt. It seemed predictable, and I even indicated as much on the radio show on Sunday morning. While he didn't live up to my pregame prediction of two goals, he had a goal and an assist as he looked to pace the Wild against his former, struggling team and when he gave the Wild the 3-0 lead many - including myself - thought that was all they needed.

December 24, 2013

Nabokov, Isles Blank Red Wings

On Monday night the New York Islanders were on the other side of a poor effort for a change which is surprising given the team they played. The Detroit Red Wings are not known for poor efforts, but as they try and figure things out through injuries, their spiral continued with the Isles 3-0 win.

November 30, 2013

Why Tonight should be Cappy's Last Game

By Sean Croft

 "The night is darkest just before the dawn. And I promise you, the dawn is coming." -Harvey Dent

Truer words have never been spoken, especially in regards to the New York Islanders, and the situation they are currently in. As of this moment, the Islanders are 8-15-3, 19 points: 14th in the Eastern Conference, 27th Overall, and yet, only 7 points out of the playoffs, with nearly three quarters of the season left to play. Should When we lose to the Capitals tonight, it will solidify another 4 win November. It will should also solidify the end of Jack Capuano's tenure here on the Island.

November 13, 2013

Isles Return Home, End Skid with 3-1 Win Over Nashville

The New York Islanders put forth one of their better efforts of the season, defeating the Nashville Predators 3-1 and finally ended an extended losing skid in their return home.

The thing that stands out the most in this game was the consistent effort particularly on the forecheck. The Isles did a great job of pressuring the defensemen and forcing turnovers which they were able to turn into scoring chances at the other end.

November 3, 2013

Vanek, Poulin Star to Give Isles Win vs. Bruins, Four Point Weekend

For the first time in what certainly seems like quite some time, the Islanders finally got all four points available on a back-to-back, and even won a game at home against a good team to do so. The Islanders snapped their funk at home and defeated the Bruins 3-1.

October 20, 2013

Isles Comeback Falls Short vs. Canes; NYI FYI Sunday Morning

The first few minutes of the game on Saturday night against the Carolina Hurricanes looked like a carryover of play from the previous game against Edmonton. As time went on though, the Isles regressed in their play and the result would end up being the opposite.

The Isles fell into some traps that they were ultimately unable to recover from as the Hurricanes pulled out a 4-3 win over their new division rivals.

October 16, 2013

Sabres Earn First Victory on more Blown Leads by Isles

While it's certainly not time to panic yet with so many games left to play, the fact that the Islanders are having trouble playing against teams that (on the surface) they are better than does bring a cause for concern.

When I look at the way the last two games against the Nashville Predators and Buffalo Sabres have gone, I'm disappointed in the way this team has played. It's still the same problems we've seen recently.

October 13, 2013

Line Shuffle Produces Results, but Isles Fall Short in Nashville

The Nashville Predators are a team that is defensively sound and finds success in getting opponents to play their game. The Islanders found this out the hard way.

The Predators played their patented game lead by Barry Trotz and notched the 3-2 victory over the Islanders. It seemed like all night the Isles had trouble getting passes completed and were stuck in the neutral zone for long stretches.

October 12, 2013

Hawks Give Isles First Regulation Loss

We always hear the statement, but it never fails to be true. If you struggle to keep your legs moving you will lose, no matter how skilled your opponent is. The Islanders got stuck early on in the game in "deer-in-headlights" mode and although they came close, they ultimately were unable to recover.

September 18, 2013

Isles Drop Both Ends of Split Squad to Flames

The Islanders got their first preseason games under their belts, playing a pair of games against the Calgary Flames in split squad matches.

Naturally it's tough to gauge anything in the early preseason games as it's more of a tune-up. In general vets don't want to get hurt, and that's the best strategy of them all.

September 10, 2013

The Moment We've Been Waiting for: Tavares Named Captain

On Monday, the Islanders made the worst kept secret of the past few months official as they named John Tavares as their captain. Tavares will be the 14th player in team history to wear the 'C' on his sweater.

May 6, 2013

Pens Take Game 3 over Isles in OT with Strong Powerplay

If there was ever a time for the New York Islanders to make a statement that they were relevant to the NHL again, doing so Sunday on national TV was the perfect forum to do so. And overall, the Islanders made their fans proud and really for the first time in a while turned heads.

You really have to look no further than what’s being said by every analyst from one coast to another regarding the penalty assessed to Brian Strait in overtime for the way he played Sidney Crosby peeling off of the side boards.

A penalty in October. Not in overtime in the playoffs.

The Penguins scored on the resulting powerplay, bringing a great deal of frustration to the Islanders, their fans, and anyone out there actively rooting against the Pens in this series (which I’m pretty sure is 95% of all other fanbases at this point).

The Islanders let a fast start get away from them, allowing the Penguins to get back into this game with some undisciplined play, started off by Mark Streit and Travis Hamonic in what were both fair calls. As mentioned in the last post, you CANNOT let this team get the man advantage with the guys they put out there. In a flash, the energy was sucked away for a spell and that came to a head when Pascal Dupuis buried a nice cross ice pass from Crosby, with John Tavares unable to do enough to disturb Dupuis, giving the Penguins a 3-2 lead heading into the first intermission.

You have to give all the credit to the world though to this Islander team, who battled and fought their way through even after giving up a goal to Douglas Murray to give the Pens the 4-2 advantage. It left many of us in the building wondering if the Islanders had yet another game of storming back against these guys in them, and they did.

Feeding off energy from one another and the crowd the Isles busted through, and while on a penalty kill Frans Nielsen somehow recovered a puck after losing it off his stick, turning it around and firing it up ice to a streaking Kyle Okposo. It’s hard to put into words what exactly Okposo does here, but the eruption of the crowd after scoring on the breakaway is probably the best way to put it. I’ll never know how he didn’t lose that puck in his skates and was able contort his body that way.

Nassau Coliseum was a home again, and this was accentuated by John Tavares, the face resulting from 20 years of struggling to find an identity and a string of consistent, good play. It was Tavares who scored the goal that tied the game, leaving the building with nothing to do other than chant “M-V-P.”

The Islanders had a huge opportunity on the powerplay not long after that, but were unable to capitalize. That’s becoming an alarming trend especially when you are trying to take down a team as tough as Pittsburgh.

The Islanders had their chances in the overtime too, but they missed a couple of opportunities and in some cases the Pens got away with cheap shots that left them unable to bury those chances.

Overall, the game wasn’t the best officiated, but it wasn’t the worst either. In the interest of fairness, from where my seats were there were several instances where Isles’ defensemen interfered with Pens players on the boards (blatant holding), just feet in front of the refs that went uncalled. So it goes both ways.

But as mentioned earlier, that’s a pretty tacky call in overtime for two teams that were playing their hearts out.

It was a solid hockey game all around, and for the second straight game the Islanders outworked and outplayed the opponent (well, for most of two games). They can beat this team but need to be a little more disciplined.

It was not a banner game for Strait, and I’m still not opposed to benching him in the next game. He had some solid moments and was key in Game 2, however Crosby is a very tough match-up for him and you need a better effort with Hamonic’s hands full of Evgeni Malkin. Radek Martinek has done this before, guarded against Crosby for the Isles and would be my choice for Game 4 in place of Strait who’s clearly not at 100% still.

It’s very hard to find anything negative here aside from the discipline, a shaky defensive play here and there and goaltending.

The latter deserves it own category as Evgeni Nabokov has struggled mightily this series. It’s tough to put full blame here and go all-out declaring this was why San Jose always choked but let’s be honest with ourselves. They’re playing a Penguins team that’s got two of the best three players in the league and a top-5 defenseman in the league on their man advantage. If you continue to give them these chances it won’t matter who is in the net.

Bottom line: Nabokov has given up some softies, and that has to change. In the past month we’ve some of the craziest saves from him, and almost one in every game. But that’s been absent through the first three games against the Pens here.

The forwards all came to play and all executed their roles pretty well. The most alarming however is Matt Moulson, who opened the scoring and pretty much disappeared the rest of the way. Brad Boyes is having trouble sustaining offensive momentum but I have liked the way he’s thrown his body around a bit. But he needs to be better with the puck and quickly get himself back in the slot area.

The crowd is one final thing to address here. Can you tell we’ve been waiting a long time for this?

I’m thrilled to say I was able to be a part of that atmosphere because I never had been. The last playoff game I was at had thousands of screaming Sabres fans there. But not Sunday. Sunday was virtually all Islanders, with a scattering of Pens fans here and there throughout the building.

The building left me speechless; as I’m sure it did the same for many of you. It sets up a really intense situation for Game 4 on Tuesday, and that’s become a talking point around the league with several people – media and fans alike - taking notice and calling this the loudest home game of the playoffs thus far.

A few adjustments need to be made heading into Tuesday, but there’s no doubt the Islanders will attempt to make them. They made the adjustments from Friday into Sunday, but allowed themselves to get into penalty troubles again which cost them the game more than anything else, quite frankly, including the officiating. If that 5-on-3 situation never comes up, we’re not even discussing the Strait penalty in overtime.

If the Isles can come out on Tuesday and play their game with some minor adjustments, they stand a very good shot of ending the home playoff game futility streak, and turn this into a three game series.

- Chris

May 4, 2013

Okposo, Isles Ruin Crosby's Return to Stun Pens and Even Series

Since their Game 1 showing on Wednesday night, the Islanders did a lot of talking about playing in the playoffs, adjusting to a different style, and what is required to be competitive. Both John Tavares and Evgeni Nabokov talked about how playing at a playoff intensity level was "supposed to hurt" and how they just didn't get the job done.

April 21, 2013

Isles Escape from Winnipeg with Two Points; NYI FYI Sunday at 11 AM

The Islanders headed to Winnipeg for one of their biggest games of the season, needing to take two points from a team that could very well threaten their playoff hopes should the team go into a tailspin. With the jets playing some of their best hockey of late, especially at home, it made it yet another must win game for the Islanders - but pretty much everyone up until they clinch will be, given how tight the bottom half of the East's playoff teams are.

April 7, 2013

Martin, Isles Make it Three Straight at Home to Continue Playoff Push; NYI FYI Sunday at 11 AM

The Islanders did a nice job of getting a point in Washington to keep pace in the playoff race. If they are going to drop games, getting points out of them is really the only way they can go about business right now.

But what that mini-comeback in Washington did, combined with the Rangers SO loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins the day after, was rejuvenate the Islander fanbase in a big way as the team remained very much in it heading into Saturday nights home match-up with the Tampa Bay Lightning.