March 25, 2011

Thrashers 2, Isles 1

After hearing so much about the added emotion when going up against a former teammate, the Isles started the game off very quietly.

They gave up an early goal as they did in Tampa, but for much of the first period they couldn't get anything going. The first period ended with Atlanta having a 12-3 shot advantage.

For the first couple of minutes of the second, it looked like things could possibly turn around for the Isles as they controlled some of the play. But that and a goal to tie it from John Tavares was not enough to tilt the scale the other way.
Rob Schremp now has two goals for Atlanta. Photo by C. Hessel

Naturally, Atlanta would grab the lead on a goal by Rob Schremp. Atlanta was on the power play, and Schremp was able to just take an awkward looking shot and got the puck past Al Montoya. As a matter of fact, Schremp didn't seem to know that it went in right away.

When all was said and done, the Islanders would get out-shot 34-15. They were also severely outplayed, even when they had the man advantage. The final score of 2-1 doesn't really indicate how the game went.

Matt Martin was pretty frustrated after this one, and you really can't blame him. "I think (the effort) was pretty poor. We came off a good road trip and got five or six points."

"When your at home you have to play better than that, dictate the pace of the game and we just didn't bring it at all tonight."

Late in the game, P.A. Parenteau was interfered with on what would have been a nice break in on Chris Mason with just about a minute left, but nothing was called. After the game, Parenteau was pretty upset with the lack of a call there as he should be. For much of this game, there were some questionable calls and non-calls.

Some may say that the Isles don't have to worry about a game like this in a season where the playoffs are unlikely, but try telling that to any of them. Martin pulled no punches.

"We weren't ready as a group. It's unacceptable at this time of the year. They were just better. They wanted it more."

They absolutely did. The Thrashers had a game plan - throw as many shots as you can towards the net and crash it with big bodies like Andrew Ladd and Blake Wheeler - and they executed it perfectly. When the Isles were on offense, the Thrashers seemed to be able to pick up on their plays with some ease. The Islanders, obviously frustrated, tried some fancy plays that didn't come close to working. Hence the low total of shots on goal against what has been a pretty poor defensive team.

Some additional thoughts:

- Matt Moulson seems to have gone a bit quiet and could use a goal in the worst way. He had a couple of good chances in this one, but was unable to put one past Mason.

- You have to feel for Montoya, who wasn't tested with anything crazy but did well when facing a lot of shots in close. To give him next to nothing in offensive support is unfortunate.

- Andrew MacDonald took a shot up high, but didn't miss any time and said he was fine after the game.

The Isles take on the Flyers next in what will be another tough match-up. If they come out with an effort similar to this one, expect the score to be worse than 2-1. A lot worse.

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