Thought the New York Islanders had goalie problems before?
Things went from bad to worse for the Islanders Tuesday evening on Long Island in a loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs before the puck even dropped.
Not only did New York miss out on points, but it also lost goalie Kevin Poulin for the remainder of the season (see below) in its 5-3 setback to one of the original six teams.
Winners of four of their last five games since the All-Star break, the Maple Leafs (8 points out of the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference) left town with two points against a squad that may put an advertisement online soon for a healthy goaltender.
“This time of the year, with where we are in the standings, we have to put games together,” Toronto’s Colby Armstrong told The Associated Press afterwards. ”If you look at the standings, you see we’re sniffing closer and closer. It seems that teams get points every night, going to OT or shootouts. We have to worry about ourselves and get our points and our wins where we can.”
Meantime, the Islanders, who are trying to avoid finishing this season in the NHL basement, lost Poulin, the scheduled starting goaltender, to an injured left knee during warmups.
That meant Mikko Koskinen, recalled from AHL Bridgeport last week, was making his NHL debut at the 25th hour. Isles goalie Rick DiPietro once again was unable to go in net as he recovers from facial fractures. Meantime, rookie Nathan Lawson is also trying to get healthy for the Isles.
“I believe he (Koskinen) was a little bit nervous, but he did settle down,” Isles interim coach Jack Capuano told the AP.
Down 2-0 early on, the Islanders got one goal back on Matt Moulson’s power-play wrister from the slot at 10:48 and tied it when Michael Grabner tallied on Toronto’s rookie goaltender, James Reimer, at 15:02 of the second.
Toronto would go on to score the next three goals, with Nikolai Kulemin getting the game-winner. New York’s Rob Schremp tallied the last goal of the night, but it was too little too late.
“We made some mistakes on a couple of the goals, and that really hurt us,” Capuano went on to note.
What hurts even more was that Wednesday’s news showed Poulin will miss the remainder of the season due to the injury of his left kneecap, an injury which will require surgery.
Tough news for an Islanders squad that has back-to-back games beginning Thursday night with the playoff-bound Canadiens (road) and Penguins (home on Friday).
Anyone care to play goalie on Long Island these days?
About the Author
Written by Dave Thomas