Tuesday, January 19, 2010

4 - 0 Makes it 4 in a Row!

Did any of us think that was possible in December? I realize this winning streak will have to come to an end, but it is nice to look at for a moment and smile.

Yesterday, during the game and the Islanders sheer dominance in the Devils end, I emailed someone with my husband's favorite phrase: "Who are these guys?" (For you younger folk, that was a line from Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid) These guys are the ones that Scott Gordon and Garth Snow knew they could win with. They just had to play within the system that was outlined for them.

According to Scott Gordon, it's the decisions with the puck that have improved. (Something Rick DiPietro said as well.) It started in Colorado where they started to pick up their game in small areas that have made the difference. "It started on the road trip, and a couple of the areas we tried to clean up was our forwards and their responsibilities coming out of the opposition's zone and then changing responsibilities coming into OUR zone. Making sure that we had the proper reads in front of the defensemen and then also making sure that when we get into the zone we identified our coverage and stayed with it." Simple right?

When asked about Matt Moulson joining the Islanders, Scott offered up some information about the phone call he made to Matt explaining their plan. "I explained to him that our situation is unique. We're trying to get a younger team here. There would be more opportunities than what you might see from other teams. The reality is, he could have gone to another organization but to find a spot where he would have the potential to play the power play and be a top six guy would be pretty hard. But with our team, it was a situation that would provide him with the most opportunity providing he had a good camp, which he did."

Matt Moulson now has 19 goals and the attention of the entire NHL. Actually, about now, the NY Islanders as a whole have the attention of the entire NHL. The other thing they have is respect for their work ethic. No matter where they are in the standings, this is not a team to be taken lightly.

However, all I can think of is that March 3rd trade deadline. With the team building such great chemistry and everything finally coming together, I would hate to be the one to make decisions of change. Certainly improvements can be made, but who do you remove and how sure can you be that they would be an improvement?

Uggghhhhhh!!!! Okay, I don't want to think about it now. All I want to think about is how long can this winning streak last.

Tonight the Islanders are in Pittsburgh to face the Penguins who stand at 61 points, nine ahead of the Islanders. The good thing is that Pittsburgh's power play is a horrible 14.6% and they are basically equal in face-off percentage to the Islanders at 49.2 to 48.3. And as we know, you can't win if you don't have the puck.

Whatever happens, I'm still a happy Islander fan.

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