Islanders fed up after latest loss
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The Islanders' latest defeat - 3-2 to the Flyers Sunday at Nassau Coliseum - offered very little different from the rest of their losses in the past six weeks. The myriad unsightly streaks and slumps continued.
Seventeen losses in the past 18 games.
Eighteen losses in the past 19 contests against the Flyers.
Eleven straight games without a power-play goal.
Only 7,773 in attendance, their smallest crowd of the season and their worst since the 2004-05 lockout.
But the Islanders' third straight loss seemed to bring to the surface an undercurrent of concern about their battle level on the ice, their attitude toward losing and their willingness to evoke change.
"It's like a country club in here," one player said, baffled by the team's inability to see the big picture.
Trailing by a goal in the third period, the Islanders tallied twice within 36 seconds, first on a deflection by Jon Sim at 5:12, then a wrister by Frans Nielsen. But with a one-goal lead to protect, the Islanders surrendered two straight to the Flyers.
Winger Andreas Nodl scooped up a deflected shot for the equalizer on the power play at 11:34 and Danny Briere scored the winner less than three minutes later.
"If anyone's going to question our hard work, they're idiots," defenseman James Wisniewski said. "We're working hard out there; we're just not getting bounces."
Particularly absent are the bounces on the power play, on which the Islanders have gone 0-for-36 in the last 11 games. That's one game shy of the franchise record for consecutive games without a power-play goal set in 1972-73.
The Islanders didn't get a single shot on their first-period power-play attempt, and although they generated more on the next three, they still failed to convert.
The last of their four attempts came with less than five minutes to play and the chance to tie the score. Still no luck.
"There's no second effort, there's no second chances. When you're a one-and-out team, you're lucky to score a goal," Wisniewski said. "Every time we get a good shot or good chance, we lose the one-on-one battle on the wall or I make a bad pass from up top and they dump it down the ice."
Wisniewski even suggested it might take divine intervention to change their luck.
"God has to do something," he said. "I don't know."
The Islanders' inability to score with the man-advantage seems to coincide with their overall ability to overcome the bad breaks that have haunted them recently.
"Bounces you create," goaltender Dwayne Roloson said. "If you're going to work, you're going to get those bounces. If we're going to sit back and let the play come to us, other teams are going to get those bounces."
For a bunch that thrived last season with the self-imposed identity of a hard-working, gritty squad, the Islanders seem to be struggling to re-establish that reputation.
When asked if their effort level is there, Matt Martin said, "At times. But other times, it doesn't seem like we want the puck as bad as the other team does. We seem to be missing some of that urgency."
Martin, who leads the Islanders with 85 hits in 17 games, wants that to change.
"Everyone's -- off in here. Everyone hates losing,'' he said. "But we say we're going to do better, we say we're going to do things differently, but it never seems to happen. Enough talking. It's time to take action."
Notes & quotes:Defenseman Milan Jurcina skated with full gear for the first time since suffering a hamstring injury that has sidelined him for 15 games . . . Josh Bailey scored two goals in the Bridgeport Sound Tigers' 4-1 win over Providence on Saturday . . . Defensemen Bruno Gervais and Dylan Reese were healthy scratches . . . Doug Weight, still listed as day-to-day with back spasms, missed his seventh straight game.