Let's Forget That Ever Happened- Islanders/Sabres Pre-Game

The battle for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference continues to be a comedy of errors.

The New York Islanders effort on Monday could have been the biggest joke of all. 


They will look to have short-term memory as they travel north to face-off against the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday Night.


Buffalo is coming off one of their most complete efforts of the season, a 6-2 home victory of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Derek Roy scored two goals and Ryan Miller made 24 saves. It was their 1st win in five games (1-3-1) and brought them to within one point of the still 12th place Islanders.


The Islanders, on the other hand, were steamrolled by the resurgent Ottawa Senators 6-0 on Monday Afternoon in their worst performance of the season. 


 A  near-capacity crowd of 15,818 sat in utter silence as the Senators put two behind Kevin Poulin within the first 95 seconds. Al Montoya replaced him and didn’t far any better yielding four goals in relief. Jason Spezza and Erik Karlsson both scored two goals and Craig Anderson had a relatively effort-free shut-out in goal. 


The Isles have been a strong road team as of late and will get another attempt in a building where success has been surprisingly easy to come by. In their last three meetings in Buffalo, the Islanders have outscored the Sabres 14-9, winning all three games, including a 2-1 victory November 29th. The season series is currently 2-1 in favor of the Islanders.


Al Montoya stole two points in their last meeting in Buffalo making 30 saves, including four or five on a 5-on-3 third period power-play for the Sabres. He is 2-0-1 in his career against Buffalo with a 2.27 GAA and 9.27 Save percentage. He will likely be in goal tomorrow night as Evgeni Nabokov continues to battle the flu and will not make the trip.


Madonia Minute


This will literally take a minute to read. The Islanders/Ottawa game(if you can call it that)  was the worst effort i’ve seen a professional team put out in a long time. No emotion, no fire, the coach stands there like a log, and no-one is ever ready to play important games. This is a by-product of poor coaching. This team should have 68-71 points already instead of the 58 it currently has. A good coach has his team flying around and pumped up for a playoff game in your building that is basically sold-out! No excuses for the way the team performed today. Is this a playoff team? I don't think so anymore, but neither is Toronto, Washington or Winnipeg for that matter. It's become a battle of ineptitude, if a team gets hot they will earn the bid. 


I have so much more to write, but work commitments won't allow it tonight. Win or lose tomorrow, look for my in-depth recap of both the game and the season so far. I will give an honest no-holds barred assessment of this team as a whole. I will also look to have another Where Are They Now up at the end of the week! 


One last thing, if Micheal Haley or Casey Citizkas aren’t in the Islanders line-up tomorrow, the powers that be have given up on this season.



-John Madonia






Erol Bal's picture

Great article as always John!!

I sadly feel that the Isles have given up on the season and that is why we will continue to see Rolston on the 3rd line while Ninos development is wasted on the 4th. We will continue to see Cizikas and Ullstrom in Bridgeport because Garth and Co dont seem to get it.

Id like to forget about yesterdays game and Id also like to forget about the Blues and Panthers game as well but the fact is the Team forgets that they play hockey and its a 60 minute sport. No sense of urgency, no effort whatsoever. Sadly this is not the makings of a playoff bound team

Rob McGowan's picture

I don't think the team has given up on the season, Erol. I also don't mind that they haven't rushed Ullstrom or Cizikas back. If they were up today, both players would have played games I believe three days in a row, risking injury and playing fatigued. Rolston on the third line bothers the hell out of me too, especially with Nino on the fourth line, but I think that has more to do with Capuano's coaching methods than it does with tossing in the towel.

Erol Bal's picture

Capuano's coaching has killed me since last season and I personally did not want him back at all this year.

Alot can be blamed on coaching but in the end its the players who play the game and these guys come out and they dont seem to even care.

I rememeber when Peter Laviolette was here and the word he used was "uninspiring" Yesterday the Islanders played an uninspiring game that was a MUST WIN and yet they came out like it was a beer league. I blame the coach but in the end where is the urgency? Where is the battle to the final minute.

I would much rather have them lose fighting and going down swinging then what they showed yesterday and the previous week before.

Rob McGowan's picture

I agree with your last statement 100 percent. Part of it is coaching, but Capuano said it best that the guys have to know what was at stake. That's part of being a professional athlete. It's hard to understand how this team only showed up for the third period.