November 21, 2010

Byfuglien Extends Isles Streak to 13; New Podcast Posted

Dustin Byfuglien scored in overtime on a wide open shot from the slot in overtime to give the Atlanta Thrashers a 2-1 victory, and hand the Islanders their franchise record 13th loss in a row.

The Islanders effort was a bit better in this game than it was against the Florida Panthers, however the defense was still a bit shaky. Losing Mike Mottau, who took a shot off of his right eye in the 1st period didn't help that cause. Lets hope that he is OK and doesn't miss a beat because we are down to really our final options on defense in Dustin Kohn and the very raw options in Travis Hamonic and Anton Klementyev.

Rick DiPietro got the start, getting into his first game action in 18 days and was the Islanders best player on the ice tonight. He stopped 33 of the 35 shots that were thrown his way. His movements were really good, and he seemed to be able to make some really nice saves, especially through traffic.

Michael Grabner had a fairly good game tonight, using his speed to create some chances. He scored the lone Islanders goal by poking at the puck after a shot.

A breakdown by John Tavares led to the winning goal. He was battling with Byfuglien when the two went out of the zone. Tavares stumbled, and then failed to get back into the play with any kind of urgency. The defensemen who were on the ice both seemed to move away from the goal, allowing Byfuglien to walk into the slot area uncontested and take a really powerful wrist shot.

Tavares has made some bad defensive plays during the losing streak, and this one was among the worst. The other that sticks out in my mind was the Chris Pronger goal against Philadelphia a few weeks back, when both he and Blake Comeau were standing in the same area.

After the game, an obviously annoyed DiPietro spoke to reporters. One thing that was very interesting was that he talked about going to war with the guys on this team, and how there wasn't anyone he'd like to do that with more. It sounded to me like a player who is very well aware of the amount of scouts that are following them. When you have lost 13 games in a row, fired a coach and called up the best options from the AHL, your next step will have to be doing some house cleaning. I think we are getting close to that point.

If this past week was any indication, then we are in for another busy one.

NEW PODCAST AVAILABLE: Our latest podcast is now uploaded and ready for download. As always, you are encouraged to subscribe to the podcast. It was quite the week, as many of you know, and we run through everything except for detailed thoughts on the Scott Gordon firing, which we already did on Monday. Enjoy.

*Update: During the podcast, just as I did here in this post, we mentioned possibly calling up Dustin Kohn to replace Mike Mottau. I completely had a brain cramp and forgot that Kohn is injured over in Bridgeport. We apologize for the error.*


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