By Nick Colombo
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Usually it’s rich kids whose parents didn’t love them enough that run to California to “find themselves.” This week, it will be the Islanders who cruise out west and hope to just find a win. For rich kids, this California trip typically ends with an empty bank account, an appearance in a low budget adult film, and a heroine addiction. All of which the Islanders would probably prefer if given the choice between that and going 0-3 in the Golden State. However, the question of if they want to win is an easy one. The difficult one is if they can.
Last time, I wrote that the Islanders were suffering from eroding confidence. Well today I checked out the numbers, and it seems like confidence is not the Islanders’ only problem.
To me the biggest problem is still Rick DiPietro. In his 7 games he has given up 30 goals. Every other goalie in the league that has given up 30 or more goals has played no less than 11 games. In addition, DP is sporting a 4.21 GAA, the worst of all goalies in the NHL. Guess what New York, when you’re starting an ineffective netminder 50% of the time it’s kind of hard to eek out any wins.
I don’t want to hear that the defense shares blame for this either. Yes, the Isles are 29th in the league in GAA with 3.50, but they’re 15th in shots against per game. So they’re not doing a bad job controlling the puck and limiting their opponents offensively. Plus, Dwayne Roloson is near the top of the league with his GAA of 2.44. The numbers don’t lie, DiPietro’s play is a problem.
Yes, the offense shares some blame too. The Isles are worst in the league with 5 on 5 goals with a mere 14. They’re 23rd overall in goals for/game. They’ve done very well in scoring on their power play this year, but even if you lose 7 straight you don’t get to play the whole game 5 on 4. They’ve got to get better scoring at even strength. Every year, Washington gets away with playing a highly offensive system and giving up a ton of goals because they actually score. If 50% of your goaltending is bad, and you play a very offensive system, at some point something has to give. It’s time for a little less of Scott Gordon’s super pressure forechecking or a little less DP. Take a guess where I stand?
Ok, we’ll check in after California. A place I’d much rather be right now as it snows in November. In the meantime, shoot your questions or comments to me at firstname.lastname@example.org