Islanders Looked Blue in St. Louis, Fall 5-1
The Islanders headed into St. Louis on Thursday night to take on the "amazing" Blues. And I say amazing because of how well they are playing this season. The Blues are 24-3-4 at the Scottrade Center, where they call home.
The big story before the game was the change in starting goaltenders for the Islanders. Evgeni Nabokov, who was originally scheduled to start, had flu-like symptoms which caused the Isles to start Al Montoya instead. I cannot say that would cost the Islanders the game...but it certainly was a factor.
Right off the bat in the first period, the Islanders got on the board in the first minute of the game. Frans Nielsen would put the puck in the back of the net to give the Isles a huge 1-0 lead. I say huge because the Blues goaltender, Brian Elliott, has the highest GAA in the league; so scoring first, and at all, was big.
But that goal would be short-lived. Jason Arnott would tally his 14th goal of the season to tie it up at one. Around three minutes later, New Rochelle native Kevin Shattenkirk would score his seventh of the season on the powerplay. The Blues would take the 2-1 lead to the dressing room.
Unfortunately, there would not be a light at the end of the tunnel for the Islanders. It was all downhill from there. The Blues would score 3 goals in the second period, including one on the powerplay, and then they would be held scoreless in the third.
The Islanders would go on to lose 5-1, but let's talk about the Isles' powerplay. The Islanders were 0 for 5 on the powerplay tonight, which is completely atrocious. Now I'm not saying they should have been 5 for 5, but at least a goal should have been scored with that many chances. And boy did the Isles have chances tonight.
Blues goaltender Brian Elliott was not incredible tonight, either, he was good, but not incredible. The Blues defense did a lot of the work, and the Isles lack of offense certainly helped them out.
The most concerning quality of this year's Islanders team is the inconsistancy of the defense. Some games they could be the best in the league and others, like tonight, they could be horrid. It was just a sloppy game for the Isles and if they want any shot at the playoffs, this needs to stop.
The Islanders take on the Hurricanes at home on Saturday. Considering how close the Canes are to the Isles in the standings, it is a must win. Well...so is every game from here on out.
In my opinion, I think Montoya should be between the pipes on Saturday. One of the reasons he was very shakey tonight was his lack of play lately. It's been the Evgeni Nabokov show around Islander Country and they still need to incorporate Al Montoya.
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