Cappy's Battle Level Week 5

It's been a bit more than a week since the last Cappy's Battle Level.  The West Coast trip took a toll, so I decided to wait it out until the Islanders weren't playing at 1 AM.  So far I've tried to incorporate each & every Islander into getting an award, & this week two new players are taking home a Cappy.  

So far it has been a good road trip for the Islanders, with only one real clunker in Edmonton & a game in Vancouver that could have gone either way, as they did throw plenty of shots at Eddie Lack but just could not convert.  The past two games have been strong showings for the most part, & it all comes to a head on Tuesday night in what should be one of the games of the year against the Rangers at the Garden.

Week 5 Winners:

Brian Strait?- That question mark is supposed to be there.  A few weeks ago it looked as if Strait would forever be in the press box, but due to a Lubo Visnovsky injury & an extremely ineffective Matt Donovan, Brian Strait was given a chance to prove himself once again, & so far he's done very well.  He scored his first goal in 40 games last night, & was a +4 for the night.  He looks confident, he looks crisp in eveything he does, & him & Thomas Hickey are a pretty good third pairing so far.

Chad Johnson- Everything that was said about Brian Strait can be the same for Chad Johnson, only he gets a spot on the bench at least.  Johnson did not play well the first period, having a .667 SV %.  By the end of the game however, he looked decently calm in net, making some good saves while not being tested heavily.  Hey a win is a win, & if Johnson can give Halak a spell & win some games for us I'm fine with it.  Anything is better than giving up almost 4 goals a game.

Penalty Kill- The Real MVP of this road trip is the penalty kill.  It's creeped up to 26th in the league, and although still awful, it's no longer an automatic goal for the opposing team.  Each player is getting a little more aggressive on each shift, and other than one goal given up last night on a shot Johnson really should have stopped, there hasn't been much doing for teams the Islanders play.  The PK seems to be playing more confident, & recently they've even gotten close to producing goals while down a man.

The Isles are back in action at 7 PM in the Garden against our division rivals, the New York Rangers.  This is probably the most important game of the season, as it could be a four point swing either way against a blazing hot Rangers team.  Nothing would make me happier than to bring the Rags streak to a screeching halt.