November 19, 2010

Islanders Drop 11th Straight, Botta Thoughts

The Islanders could not rally for their new head coach Jack Capuano and fell to the Lightning 4-2 Wednesday night at the Coliseum, their first game back from that rather brutal road trip.

As a matter of fact, there were some bad habits that continued to rear their ugly heads once again. In fairness, however, I believe that Capuano did mention that for the time being many things would be heavily run by assistants Scott Allen and Dean Chynoweth.

One thing that bothered me was that the Islanders still seemed a bit reluctant to get the puck towards the net with some urgency. I understand trying to look for that perfect shot, and that will be human nature more often than not, but sometimes you need to just go with your gut and throw it that way.

The Lightning got 19 shots through on Dwayne Roloson in the 1st period, the final one of the frame coming from Steve Stamkos with 0.3 seconds left to give the Lightning a 1-0 lead. Giving up a fairly high amount of shots is something that has been going on a little too much lately, and that is a result of some of the better shot blockers being out.

Matt Moulson scored the Islanders first goal, doing what he does best driving towards the net. With less than a minute left, John Tavares made the score 3-2 but Tampa would answer with an empty netter after a pretty poor sequence of the Islanders battling for the puck deep in the zone. There didn't seem to be much of an effort to protect the empty net situation.

Jack Capuano seemed content with his debut as coach, and admitted he saw some good and bad things. When pressed as to what he can do to improve some things, he gave some pretty vague answers. I expected that from a guy not used to an NHL head coaching gig, and would think it should improve over time.

The Isles next game will be Saturday against the Florida Panthers at the Coliseum. The Islanders haven't had much luck against them in recent years, but definitely have the ability to break out of this very long losing streak. The have to show a much better effort than they did against Tampa, though. Capuano has two off days to work on things. I will be in the press box for the game on Saturday.

BOTTA NEWS: Since I made the mention about Chris Botta shutting down Islanders Point Blank the other day, I figured that I would update you guys here, although anyone who has a pulse doesn't need to be told what happened.

Obviously, he made the right choice, given the circumstances, to lay low for two days while things hit the airwaves/newspapers/whatever else you can think of.

I will not go too in depth with my feelings on the subject at this time but I will say that this controversy was the last one the Isles needed right now. Chris is a writer for many different outlets, and has brought so much to the NHL in general with some great features on AOL Fanhouse. The public outcry is exactly what I expected would happen when word broke out late on Monday. There were steps that could have been taken between Botta and the Islanders, and it doesn't appear that any of them took place. Aside from the article in Newsday, the Islanders haven't been avaliable for comment for many of the other news outlets that have placed a call.

Being a friend of the show, we give Botta our support and hope that something can be resolved.

That's all I have on this subject for now, but one would expect us to go a little more in depth in the podcast I'm sure. We have gotten a number of comments and e-mails asking for reactions, and perhaps we can address some of those on the show as well. As always, you are more than welcome to express your thoughts or concerns either in the comments section or via e-mail. For those of you who have recently contacted other media sources or folks through e-mails, you can continue to share those with us as well. We see that some of you have, and since some of these subjects are very close to the heart of the fans we will spend some time with it on Sunday.

More to come later.


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