The Islanders took to the road for a five-game West Coast road trip from Thursday, Oct. 30 to Saturday, Nov. 8. and finished with a record of 3-2.
Marking the conclusion of the road trip, the Isles have played eight straight games against Western Conference teams.
It was a big sigh of relief to see the Isles beat the Ducks in overtime on Wednesday, Nov. 5. Tavares put the team on his back by scoring two goals and sealed the deal by scoring the overtime winner on the powerplay. The Isles defeated a team that previously had a 10-3 record. The last time the Islanders beat the Ducks was on Dec. 16, 2010.
Powerplay conversions were key, as the Isles went 2-3 during the game.
The Isles are currently in the top half of the league in powerplay statistics. On the flip side, the Isles currently are nearly last in the NHL with the worst total penalty kill percentage.
It has been interesting to see Matt Martin getting some time on the third-line instead of the fourth. Usually Martin, Casey Cizikas and Cal Clutterbuck are the perfect hard-hitting, gritty match for a fourth-line.
I’m glad Coach Capuano put “Marty” back to his rightful spot. However, Clutterbuck started the Arizona game on the second-line. Also, Eric Boulton has been getting some playing time as well.
I believe the Isles just hit a roadblock (literally) as a result of the different style of the play of the Western Conference teams faced. The losses to Colorado and San Jose were just bumps in the road. No need to worry. They are not going to revert back to their old ways. It is still early in the season to make any judgments. As proven, the team won the next three in a row.
The Isles have been notorious in past years for having a poor record in the month of November. They have also been known for being plagued by injuries in recent years as well as around this time of the season. I’m crossing my fingers that they could stay in one piece as a whole group.
On Tuesday, Nov. 11, the Islanders returned home and shutout the Colorado Avalanche 6-0.
Until Saturday, Dec. 6, the Isles will face an Eastern Conference opponent. This will be a great opportunity to continue to rack up points and gain more ground in the conference. This includes, finishing out the month of November with six-straight games against Metropolitan Division teams.
The Islanders are in Sunrise, Florida to take on the Florida Panthers tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. They then travel to St. Petersburg, Florida to take on the Tampa Bay Lightning in a home-and-home series beginning Saturday, Nov. 15 at 7 p.m. and then at the Nassau Coliseum on Tuesday, Nov. 18 at 7 p.m.