Islanders Puck Talk – Weekly Review
“It’s getting fucking old. Same stuff”. Those words should be engraved on every Islander fans’ tombstone when they die. The words uttered by Doug Weight perfectly describe an extremely disappointing season. Every step the Islanders take forward, they take two steps back. Every game they take a lead in, they can’t hold it. They’re in the midst of an eight game losing streak with no end in sight. There’s not much more to say at this point.
Saturday, March 3rd 2018 – @ Pittsburgh Penguins
The Islanders had the opportunity to start their road trip off right with a win at the Pittsburgh Penguins. They started the game off great with a Brandon Davidson shot that caught Tristan Jarry in his tracks and trickled through as the goaltender slipped around the crease.
The Islanders’ Penalty Kill woes continued as Patric Hornqvist scored on the Power Play. It’s like clockwork at this point for the Islanders to not hold a lead for more than a period.
Anders Lee put the Islanders up 2-1 early in the third but that lead did not hold either, as Derick Brassard scored halfway through the third. It was another disappointing third period for the Isles, and it wasn’t even their worst of the week.
Overtime came and went and noted Islander killer Sidney Crosby put one past Christopher Gibson to take the two points. Gibson deserved a much better fate, as he played remarkably well.
Penguins 3, Islanders 2 (OT)
Monday, March 5th 2018 – @ Vancouver Canucks
This game was another blown opportunity for the Islanders to capitalize on a bad team. Josh Bailey scored midway through the first and John Tavares added an early one in the second, but the Isles’ inability to close out games is absolutely maddening at this point.
Brendan Leipsic and Darren Archibald scored back to back to tie the game up quickly in the second period. It was a second period effort that I had only seen a few times before out of this team, one I hope to never see again.
Jake Virtanen essentially sealed what would be a terrible Islanders loss with a goal midway through the third. Brock Boeser took a NASTY check from Cal Clutterbuck that saw him hit his back on the edge of an open bench door. Boeser unfortunately is out for the season after that collision, but that hit didn’t give either team a real edge. Jordan Eberle was able to salvage a point from this mess of a game with a late PP goal.
Overtime was an absolute disaster, as the Islanders looked sloppy and Anthony Beauvillier got caught trying to stick handle without moving his feet. He got his pocket picked and for whatever reason Jaroslav Halak decided to come out and challenge him, He completely missed the puck and left the net WIDE open for Leipsic. It was a very bad game.
Canucks 4, Islanders 3 (OT)
Thursday, March 8th 2018 – @ Edmonton Oilers
Since not much happened the entire game here’s the quick scoop; The Islanders got worked in the first two periods but Christopher Gibson was great once again. Thomas Hickey put a slick move on some Edmonton defensemen and put one top shelf. The Islanders got some more bad bounces and Connor McDavid was able to put one past Gibson with about two minutes to go to tie up the game.
Please note that I went to bed with about three minutes to go knowing the Islanders would lose this game. I have this feeling every game because when things are going bad they’re never going to get better. The Islanders couldn’t capitalize in overtime and lost in a shootout. I am not surprised by any of this. But three game point streak!
Oilers 2, Islanders 1 (SO)
The Islanders may have found something in Christopher Gibson. With Thomas Greiss being an ECHL level goalie at best right now and Jaroslav Halak most certainly not re-signing with the Islanders, Christopher Gibson may be the Islanders goalie of the future. Who knows when Linus Soderstrom will get here, and who knows if Ilya Sorokin will ever get here.
Gibson showed that he is capable, even in a small sample size, of carrying a team when they have bad moments. The Islanders have much improved on defense after switching from a man system into more of a zone system, but there are still plenty of lapses and plenty of opportunities for other teams to score. Gibson was very good in both games and hopefully he will continue to play more games as the season wanes away.
John Tavares is not staying on Long Island. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but why would he stay? I was so confident the entire year that he would stay, and then they go on an eight game losing streak and look like the worst team in the NHL. Tavares has not looked good, the team has not looked good, and the more pressure they put on themselves the worse they’re going to play.
It’s just human nature that Tavares is going to put a lot of pressure on himself to succeed, but the fact taht a team this talented isn’t able to put it all together even for one or two games is mind-boggling. They’re a few pieces away from contending, but they aren’t the Arizona Coyotes. They have the best rookie in the league and two 30 goal scorers. What more do you need?
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