October 16, 2011

Tavares Gets 3rd Career Hat Trick to Down Rangers; NYI FYI Sunday at 11 AM

This weekend, it's John Tavares's world and we're just living in it.

Tavares was outstanding once again, and followed up a two goal, two assist performance on Thursday night with a three goal, four point night against the Rangers as the Islanders continued their fast start.

The points gave Tavares eight on the season - all in the last two games. That wasn't for a lack of trying though as he was the Isles best forward in the first two games as well. Now, it appears as though the floodgates have opened for him offensively. He's been showing great improvement on the defensive end and even is beginning to out-skate opponents. Whatever off-season plan the Isles had him on is paying dividends in the early going.

Matt Moulson and P.A. Parenteau also had strong games, even thought Tavares pretty much set the tone as far as the offense was concerned. Moulson was in some of the right spots, and Parenteau made a few nice plays. One that stands out to me from him is on the Isles 3rd goal, when Tavares won the face-off to Parenteau who moved it to Mark Streit for the slap pass goal to Tavares. It was just a nicely executed play by all on the powerplay unit.

Evgeni Nabokov was solid in net. He had to make some nice saves, and looked awkward on a few. He's definitely got some rust to shake off, but you saw flashes tonight of why he's been one of the best goalies in the league for the better part of the decade. The win was the 294th of his career. I'm hoping his performance was good enough for those who still had bad tastes in their mouths from what happened last winter. I certainly didn't and really appreciate his effort in a big win.

There were a couple of problem areas that I saw at least, coming in the form of the defensive pairing of Mike Mottau and Mark Eaton. They were on the ice for both Ranger goals, and let their offense get in deep and begin cycling. In the later stages of the game, Eaton improved but Mottau still looked like a guy scrambling for his positioning. While both make up the third pairing, both are still being put out there for some time and in some big spots. They need to at the very least become a bit better to take some of the pressure off of the other guys, and even the better defensive forwards.

NYI FYI AT 11 AM ON SUNDAY: The Islanders had a perfect week, and Sean and I will be on live to discuss it at11 AM on Sunday. You can listen and watch us live through uStream, where you can even participate in the chat room. For those unable to catch us live, we'll have the podcast up shortly after the show ends.

Enjoy guys!



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