Stream of consciousness: Unacceptable Beginnings
This is just my own reactions to last night and not to be considered any sort of analysis or in-depth thinking on the team, just stream of consciousness.
The Islanders first playoff game in 7 years needs no further summation from me, it was a travesty at all ends of the ice. Look I know Pittsburgh is a heavy favorite, but the Isles have no business playing PIT in round 1, but since they are, some, anything would have been better than last night's "performance." The Islanders were manhandled all over the place, the Tavares line couldn't produce a shot on the pairing of Douglas Murray and Kris Letang. Letang was even able to just deposit Tavares to the ice at will. It's not like the Isles slogged through an 82 game season and are gassed...yeah playoff jitters are one thing, but not even showing up to the building was ridiculous. Last night was so bad I'd bet you could've dressed the Columbus Blue Jackets in Isles jersey's and seen better hockey...or more insulting, the San Antonio Rampage (FLA).
Yes, I'm still rooting for the Isles to play hard and make this some kind of series; I've been a pessimist on Twitter saying that the Isles would get swept by Vokoun alone, but no Vokoun and we have a chance...instead Fleury looked less than comfortable out there and the Isles couldn't throw pucks at him from anywhere close. The Power play was non-existant and worse, the guy that brought us to the playoffs: Evgeni Nabokov, was hung out to dry by putrid D. Nabby also took a hard Jerome Iginla slapshot to the head and the Isles did nothing to immediately secure his health, as in make sure he doesn't have a concussion, the way he went down after that shot, as much as he's been the guy, they should have taken him out then.
The biggest positive of the night was Kevin Poulin's play showing that he might just be able to carry more of a load than previously thought. Poulin was rusty during the pre-playoff tune ups that put the Isles in this precarious series (extra points against CAR, and PHI would have cemented a higher seeding and avoiding the Pens), but he was sharp last night in his first NHL playoff game, much sharper than a lot of experienced guys.
If the Islanders don't show up in the next few games, and get beaten and manhandled the way they were last night, I want to see them dismiss Jack Capuano. Yes, he led them here with one of the better runs in the league to get us as high as 6th, but when it comes to preparing this team, and getting them ready for big games, he's failed for the last two seasons. There will be NHL coaches on the Market, and taking over a team that's made the playoffs is more desirable than taking over a team in Re-build. The Isles are marketable to Coaches without jobs this summer.
This is all agita I know, but when a game like last night gets played and you have zero idea how the team and coaches will respond, agita's all you have to go off of. Here's hoping the Isles right the ship on Friday. I don't want to be Mr Doom and Gloom, but last night was a horror show and I have no earthly idea how these guys will respond on this stage.