There is no question about this team. If the Islanders had a full healthy squad, we would be at .500 or better entering our 15th game against Philly on Tuesday. BD Gallof had a good article about Dipietro on Point Blank, but I'm seeing this as a team as a whole. DiPietro is a key component to winning, but from what I've seen so far, this team cannot play focused hockey for a solid 60 minutes, and the losses cannot be blamed on MacDonald.
Some questions have arisen: Is it the system?
Too much effort in the first two periods leads to a third period bow out? So far yes. Again, this team is still learning the system, which means, learning how to win with this system. More than likely, it's not a full team effort, having a few players slack off, and there you have it, a melt down. Get everyone to believe in the system, and you'll see the wins.
Why are the kids not scoring?
We're they really supposed to? Okposo, Tambellini, and Neilson did not get the ice team needed last year. Watch for them to get it going in the second half like Bergenheim did when he first started out. Until then, let them learn the other factors of the sport. The veterans have more than stepped up in the scoring department, which allows the younger players to play hard and learn more. As the season progresses, they'll be asked to deliver.
Is it the goaltending?
If it wasn't for MacDonald, this team would be a lot worse. His save percentage is at .900, which on this team, is more than what they were hoping for. When DiPietro's healthy, MacDonald will be a mute point.
What's to come this week?
A game against the Flyers and two against the Senators. Both teams are struggling out of the gate, and If the Islanders figure out the third period, they'll take 2 out of 3.