The New York Islanders have had their share of struggles this season. The Islanders began their 2011-2012 season with three healthy goaltenders but two out of three of those goaltenders have been placed on the IR within a span of two days. They have been shutout a total of four times on home ice this season, most recently, in last night's 6-0 loss to the defending Stanley Cup Champions, Boston Bruins, at Nassau Coliseum.
The Islanders have yet to win a game on the road this season. To make matters worse, the Islanders will have their work cut out for them on Monday as they make their way to Pittsburgh, where the last Islanders road victory came in 2007. Moreover, on Nov. 21, Pittsburgh Penguins superstar Sidney Crosby will make his 2011-2012 NHL season debut against the New York Islanders.
Penguins' Captain Sidney Crosby has not played since Jan. 5 after suffering from a concussion due to hits to the head in back-to-back games. Crosby led the League in scoring with 32 goals and 34 assists in 41 games at the time of his injury last season.
The New York Islanders as a team have scored 35 goals through 17 games this season and are currently in last place of Eastern Conference. The Pittsburgh Penguins are tied with the Philadelphia Flyers for the most points in the Eastern Conference through 20 games in the absence of Sidney Crosby.
Still, the highest of expectations rest on the shoulders of the Pittsburgh Penguins. The last time the Penguins were expected to prevail against the Islanders, with Sidney Crosby in the line-up, was when Sidney Crosby’s 25-game point-streak was snapped while cameras were rolling for HBO’s 24/7 Penguins/Capitals: Road to the NHL Winter Classic on Dec. 29 at Nassau Coliseum.
The Islanders have a chance to rebound from an embarrassing loss to the Boston Bruins when they meet Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins at CONSOL Energy Center on Monday. Islanders Head Coach Jack Capuano's emotional postgame press conference might have changed the way the Islanders think about their game. With all focus centering on the Pittsburgh Penguins' Captain, the Islanders now have an opportunity to change how they play their game.