Tuesday, April 28, 2015

N.Y. Islanders: Washington Capitals Veto Uniondale Extension


Washington wins series 4-3
I - NYI 4; WAS 1
II - WAS 4; NYI 3
III - NYI 2; WAS 1
IV - WAS 2; NYI 1
V - WAS 5; NYI 1
VI - NYI 3; WAS 1
VII - WAS 2; NYI 1

Long Island is eliminated from their last ever Stanley Cup playoffs.

The Islanders will now commence their move to Brooklyn;
Barclays Center will be their new home.

New York Islanders: The Washington Capitals played like an experienced Game 7 team, and knew how to finish.  These modern day Uniondale Islanders did not.

The end of an era has come.

The 43rd and final season of New York Islanders hockey in Uniondale is complete.

Mark it down - on April 27, 2015, in front of a raucous Long Island crowd, the last official game played at the much disparaged Barn was a 3-1 first round playoff victory over the Washington Capitals.

It's now time for the unceremonious task of melting the ice and disassembling the rink where a historic four consecutive Stanley Cups were hoisted, for there will be no more NHL hockey played at Nassau Veteran's Memorial Coliseum ever again.

Two seasons ago, these upstart Islanders nearly knocked off the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first round of the playoffs.  Last season, however, they were unable to overcome a dismal start and inevitably failed to qualify for the playoffs.

To that point, a close knit group was nevertheless gaining valuable experience together, and their ability to score was never in question.  The Islanders rolled out four strong lines very effectively, and continued doing so through this season.

What the Isles desperately needed last off-season was to improve their defense and upgrade the goalie.  General manager Garth Snow did just that.  In two rather stunning transactions, he acquired defensemen Johnny Boychuk and Nick Leddy, and solidified his goal situation by acquiring Jaroslav Halak,

By the midway point of the regular season, the Islanders were riding high atop the Eastern Conference.

Sputtering down the home stretch, and entering the post-season as the #5 seed is a minor, rather inconsequential factoid in the bigger picture.


Say what you will about numerous injuries to Long Island's blueliners.  The Islanders were no doubt depleted, but not debilitated.  Defense, and/or Jaroslav Halak's goal tending, were not the decisive issues in the end.  In fact, Jaroslav performed brilliantly Monday evening.  Instead, the Islander's #4 rated offense short circuited down the stretch against the league's #7 defensive rated team, and the league's 14th rated penalty kill.

Aside from Cal Clutterbuck's empty-netter to seal Game 6, the Islanders were limited to just 7 goals in the final 5 games of the series.  Worse, they were 0 for 14 on the power play in the series.

When the Boston Bruins won their most recent Cup, they were similarly atrocious on the power play, but played brilliantly at even strength.

Just saying...

The Washington Capitals clearly looked, and played like the more comfortable team.  They looked every bit more experienced in Monday's Game 7 situation than did their competitors.  And when the Islanders finally mounted a comeback to tie, the Capitals demonstrated how to finish.

The Islanders, on the other hand, looked like exiles; strangers playing in a strange land.  Washington D.C. may have well been 2000 light years from home considering their days in Long Island and the Barn were ending.

They were every bit of the inexperienced Game 7 competitors they appeared to be.

Content to sheepishly clear the puck from their defensive end, the Isles only took a ponderous 3 shots on goal in the 1st period, 4 SOG in the 2nd, and 4 more in the 3rd, for a total of 11 shots on goal for the game.

The first two periods were particularly mystifying to watch.  No team is winning a Game 7 like that.

When the Islanders finally decided to play in the 3rd, they scored.  Washington, however, was more practiced in the art of closing.


I know John Tavares had a questionable game...  Tough call.  I wouldn't go there.  The Isles are four lines deep...., right?

Dare I say Islanders fans take a pass?

No finger pointing - for as long as the bitter taste of this defeat lasts all off-season and fuels a bigger and better effort next season in Brooklyn?

I'm a Rangers fan, so what do I know...

The Long Island/NYC rivalry WAS great.

And so, with all deserved respect..., Potvin Sucks!


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