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Bruins overwhelm Islanders, hand them third straight loss

Jan 27, 2014, 10:02 PM EDT

Boston Bruins' Loui Eriksson, left, celebrates after he scores a goal past New York Islanders goalie Kevin Poulin, center, while Calvin de Haan looks on during the first period of the NHL hockey game, Monday, Jan. 27, 2014, in Uniondale, New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) AP

The New York Islanders could only match the Bruins blow-for-blow for so long before Boston took charge of tonight’s game. Bruins forward Brad Marchand led the charge with four points in Boston’s 6-3 victory.

The belief was that Islanders defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky‘s playing time would be limited given that he missed the Islanders’ previous 46 contests due to a concussion. Instead, he logged 22:08 minutes and was one of just four New York players to finish the game with a positive plus/minus rating.

Speaking of players coming off of head injuries, Loui Eriksson got on the board early, netting his first goal since returning on Jan. 11 from his second concussion of the season:

Islanders goaltender Kevin Poulin was kept in for all six goals, but was finally chased out by Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara at 8:12 of the third period. As a result, Evgeni Nabokov (quad strain) played between the pipes for the first time since Jan. 6.

The Islanders have now lost three straight contests to kill the momentum they had been gathering recently. With their chances of making the playoffs looking increasingly bleak, the pressure will intensify for them to either sign or trade Thomas Vanek before the trade deadline.

  1. 19to77 - Jan 27, 2014 at 10:16 PM

    “42nd time in 55 games this season.”

    Holy mother of God the Isles need upgrades in defense and goaltending so badly.

    • govtminion - Jan 27, 2014 at 10:40 PM

      No joke. Goaltending in particular, what a ridiculous mess.

  2. lowenni - Jan 27, 2014 at 10:54 PM

    Need..defense…need…goaltending…

  3. stakex - Jan 27, 2014 at 11:13 PM

    You know, even as a Rangers fan I must say it would be somewhat nice to see the Islanders become competitive again. After all, Rangers/Islanders is a great rivalry that’s been all but dormant since the 90′s with both teams having their fair share of issues over the last couple decades.

    However the Islanders just aren’t there yet, and probably aren’t as close as some think. They have been winning games because they have a fairly potent offense (2nd in the EC in goals for, though most teams have games in hand on the Islanders) that has been able to score enough to, at times, overcome their defensive/goaltending problems. However, that’s a house cards really…. you can’t win consistently if you need to score 4 or more goals a game to win. I mean they are dead last in the EC in goals allowed (29th in the NHL) and have a -28 goal differential, which is shockingly bad when you consider their offense isn’t bad.

    The islanders have some cap space, and might be heading to a low draft pick (if they have it?) so there is a chance they might be able to make some moves to sure up the back end. However it needs more than patch work, and the Islanders probably don’t have enough trade assets to get what they really need. I also doubt Long Island is an attractive free agent destination going into the offseason if they miss the playoffs again. So it could be a while before the Islanders find the same defensive/goaltending success that they have currently found on offense.

    Oh, and lets not forget the whole Vanek situation….

    • bcisleman - Jan 27, 2014 at 11:53 PM

      Isles are not that far away. They have a wealth of D talent in the pipeline that will mature in the following 2-3 years. Meanwhile, they’ve played most of the season missing their three best defensemen.

      They need an answer in net. Not clear that either Poulin or Nilsson will ever be that answer. Its a pity they took Koskinen rather than Lehner w/ the 31st pick in 2009. Goaltending is the one missing piece to the puzzle.

      As to Vanek, the answer is simple. The Isles make him an offer comparable to what he might get in FA before the deadline. If he refuses to sign, they will have no trouble getting substantial offers for him…possibly including the goalie they need.

      • thesportsjudge - Jan 27, 2014 at 11:58 PM

        I don’t think fans want/were expecting to mature in the next 2 or 3 years. With their playoff run last season, I am pretty sure expectations in the hockey world in general were greater than the results so far this season.

      • 19to77 - Jan 28, 2014 at 1:46 AM

        General expectations may be high, but that doesn’t make them realistic. They WERE only a bottom seed last year. On the flip side, a goaltending upgrade would singlehandedly make this team way, way better. With the 29th overall GAA this season they may as well just say “Screw it” and play with an empty net. It literally can’t get that much worse. Patch the single biggest hole and the team-wide flaws are much less crippling.

      • bcisleman - Jan 30, 2014 at 11:31 AM

        The team WILL mature over 2-3 years. Their one pressing need is a franchise goalie as the defense will fill out with elite prospects over those years. Garth did try to fill that need this summer. He made plays for Luongo, Schneider, Bernier and Halak but Nino was his main chip and he had too high a cap hit. If Isles wind up trading Vanek to the Wild, Darcy Kuemper should be part of the return.

  4. slaugin - Jan 28, 2014 at 12:16 AM

    Maybe the Islanders should have resigned Tim Thomas

  5. ironmd778 - Jan 28, 2014 at 7:17 AM

    Very entertaining game. The score actually feels misleading.

  6. nunan - Jan 28, 2014 at 8:08 AM

    I sort of feel like the Bs are starting to hit their stride and we’re about to see a big push from them. I like Eriksson on the third line right now. People forget he was a 70+ pt guy on a regular basis but between switching teams and two concussions he’s yet to completely find his game with this team. I look forward to him coming around and until he does, the third line, with fellow Swede Soderberg, may be the best place for him. When Kelly comes back, I think Spooner unfortunately is the odd man out. Not sure what you do with him bc he is a stud but he’s not going to replace anyone on the current line up, especially when the playoffs come. Alternative is to have Kelly on the fourth line with Paille and Campbell/Thornton. I’m not against that combo, which would be incredibly strong defensively. Then Spooner could stay on the third line. I just don’t see that happening this year though. Spooner’s time is next season, IMO.

  7. joey4id - Jan 28, 2014 at 11:06 AM

    The B’s gave up a boat load of shots by their standards. Their success in the playoffs will depend on how well their young d play.
    Bartkowski – 25 yrs old/63 NHL GP
    Krug – 22 yrs old/69 NHL GP
    Hamilton – 20 yrs old/84 NHL GP

    The potential is there, but with young players you just don’t know until they’ve proven themselves over a 3 to 4 year span. Especially on d.

  8. mikeswiane - Jan 28, 2014 at 11:56 AM

    Brad Marchand is really stepping up this year.

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