Capital Punishment: Isles Fall Short in DC

Fresh off of their impressive win against Boston on Saturday, the Islanders traveled to the nation’s capital for a battle with the Washington Capitals. It was a big day DC in a lot of ways. It was Election Day and also the return of their mayor in terms of hockey, Alex Ovechkin.  The Great 8 did not disappoint.

The Isles’ continued their stingy defense from Saturday’s 3-1 win at home into the first period of this game. They carried a 1-0 lead into the 2nd period and that seemed to be the last anyone has seen of the Islanders’ defense. The Islanders should be passing flyers around that asks if anyone has seen their defense.

Where did it go? It was non existant for the remainder of this game. Nabokov was under siege and the team was outscored 5-1 from the 2nd period on.

The pace quickened which saw the Isles’ taking bad penalties and falling flat footed in their own zone. The result was falling behind 5-2 quickly and looking almost helpless on defense. The second period was as bad a period as the Islanders’ have had all year. Momentum and pride was acquired by the boys in red. The Capitals never gave it back.

It is important to mention that the concerns of able and competent bodies on defense are significant. If the Isles’ want to take that next step into the NHL elite sector, they have find a way to clog the defensive leaks. Garth Snow made a statement by sparking the team with the Vanek trade but he should be on the phone trying to swing a deal for a player that could sure up the blue line.

The Islanders’ offense did look alive despite only potting two. They peppered Holtby with shots at times and were denied. The Isles continue to compile goals in bunches which is inspiring. This was another another game when they were able to pot more than 1 goal. That is the silver lining in an otherwise awful showing.

Unfortunately, the Isles were at their most vulnerable shorthanded. They could not stop the Capitals’ power play watching them go 3 for 4 in the 2nd period. The penalty killing unit looked lost, tired and defeated each time they went on the kill.

The Islanders had the opportunity to climb back into the game going on the power play early in the 3rd period. Despite some solid chances, the Islanders were unable to convert which set the tone for the rest of the period. The Isles had a second chance to go up a man and climb back into the game. This power play was another wasted opportunity for the Isles to climb back into the game. This inefficiency resulted in a 0-4 mark when they were up a man.

When the Isles went up a man for the 5th time, it was no surprise to watch them come up empty again. Holtby looked strong as he was able to turn away any opportunity the Islanders were able to toss his way.

It was one of those nights to forget which was topped with Tom Wilson’s first NHL goal which widened the margin to 6-2. That tally marked the most goals that the New York Islanders have given up so far in the 2013-14 campaign.

Put it this way, today is Election Day and the Islanders would vote in favor of a rematch if it was possible. Unfortunately it’s not as this loss will count.

The Islanders will travel to Carolina hoping to take the Hurricanes by storm on Thursday to get back to their winning ways.

-Steve Giangaspro

Follow @TCLIsles