Not sure how to take this game. Either to consider it a good, but not
great effort against a team that had turned things and was winning
recently or a Saturday where what happened was more about what the
other team did not do and the Isles made enough plays to get the two
points to go with the officials getting the quota today.
I promised I would hold the Islanders to a higher standard this
season, no more they got the two points, move on. I'm looking for
signs this team (and I use the word team) is really getting better as
a unit and building something.
I do not not think I can say that about today's win.
Lot's of very good individual plays and some good chemistry from the
usual suspects. Kvasha, Yashin, Czerkawski, Blake, Jonsson all had
outstanding games, huge games where they could have easily had more
and Jonsson is quietly dominating.
Highlighted by a very soild game from DiPietro, he made some good
saves and did not give Anaheim anything.
Nothing can be taken away from goals or setups, cannot say enough
about how hard Kvasha is working (now he needs to smile after a goal)
his play carrying the puck in past two players, dumping it behind the
goal set up the passing where he finished a beautiful
setup for the 1-0 lead on the powerplay.
Yashin did everything but score a hat-trick, he was everywhere.
Hunter and Bates had very good games, not just Hunter's goal but how
they read off each other for chances and how visible they were.
The defense played better in the early third when the top four were
paired, Martinek had a good game and was noticable. Niinimaa had one
powerplay where he took some full windups for shots and he looked
better in this game. Cairns did not look bad.
The fourth line had some moments but did not play much. Asham's
penalty was brutal in the third. Papineau for a fast player was
caught pretty handily on his third peirod breakaway.
On the downside Peca, Parrish and Wiemer belong togther as a third
line because they are giving this team next to nothing and hard to
Hunter is the player who supposedly does not have footspeed yet he
got into position faster than Parrish and scored the fourth goal from
the outside with a fast release and that really took the steam out of
Anaheim for the day. Peca (outside of the end of the game vs
Pittsburgh) has not been able to sustain anything on offense and his
hitting has again dropped off. It's getting close to asking does
Parrish deserve a reduced roll? Maybe Michael Peca too?
Wiemer in front of the net on powerplays is not helping, nor was that
line. Even with Scatchard out it says a lot that Stirling preferred
Wiemer as a left winger. As usual, he took the only penalty on a weak
hook in the first, yet he was hit much harder by Keith Carney?
Ok 4-1 wins are never bad and with the upcoming schedule this is a
big win that this team needed.
Let's see what they can do with Ottawa.