December 13, 2010

Injuries Hit, Rakhshani Debuts as Isles Fall to Nashville

The Islanders went into a building that has given them some problems in the past and once again fell to the Predators 5-0.

The game started out fairly well, but a power-play goal for Nashville on a deflection from Sergei Kostitsyn. After that, it all seemed to go downhill.

Nashville began to control much of the play at that point, and the Islanders made some really bad plays that they paid dearly for quite often. Patric Hornqvist scored two goals on the way to the rout, and Dwayne Roloson gave up a couple of weak goals for the first time in quite a while.

The Islanders did get a couple of decent chances on Nashville goalie Anders Lindback, but he was outstanding. He's another big goaltender who played that way and did not look too slow. I'm always amazed at how strong in net the Predators have been in recent history, and they always seem to be able to churn out some solid netminders. For Lindback, it was his 2nd straight shut-out.

Rhett Rakhshani made his NHL debut for this one as the Islanders called him up from Bridgeport in case Matt Moulson was not ready to go after suffering that knee injury in Saturday's game against the Thrashers. He was able to play, but Rhett got into the lineup anyway and played for Trevor Gillies. I thought he looked pretty good, but he's still raw. Obviously, Josh Bailey is nowhere near ready to come back up yet, and if I had it my way he would be down there for quite some time. By some accounts from Bridgeport, while the score sheet looks nice for Bailey, his play away from the puck is still lacking. He's 21 years old and has generally been over matched at the NHL level for the better part of two years now. No need to rush him back just yet. Congrats to Rhett on his first NHL game.

Michael Grabner played only about 10 minutes in this one. I don't understand what's going on there, but it would be nice for someone to ask about that. Perhaps that's a job for me the next time I have the opportunity to. Jesse Joensuu got just a tick under nine minutes. P.A. Parenteau? He got 17. Jon Sim got 15.

Frans Nielsen and Andrew MacDonald both got the A's in addition to the one constant that has had it in James Wisniewski. I found that interesting, but not really odd. The reports on those guys in the locker room are very good, but Nielsen and MacDonald are generally very quiet guys. They have coincidentally been two of the Isles better players this year, so perhaps it is a good way to get a point across to some of the other guys on how the game should be played.

In a not so surprising move, Doug Weight was placed on IR retroactive to November 17th, when he first sat out with back spasms. No word on when the captain will return. My guess? Not anytime soon.

Mark Eaton will miss one to two weeks of action. Here's hoping it's closer to one. Despite the Isles 1-17-3 stretch in their last 21, the team defensive effort is much better with him there than without, as we clearly saw here against Nashville.

That's all I have for tonight, but be sure to check back for any other thoughts making their way into this space.

For those who haven't checked out the latest NYI FYI podcast, feel free to do so here.


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