Islanders Puck Talk – Weekly Review
Every week it gets harder to write this, but I do it for you, the fans. The Islanders are in the midst of a 1-7-4 streak in their last 12 games, with three straight losses. In their home and home series with the Washington Capitals, they were outscored 13-6. In their latest matchup with the Carolina Hurricanes, they couldn’t hold a lead, which is unsurprising. Either way, as the season winds down, it’s safe to say that this may be the most disappointing season in Islanders history.
Thursday, March 15, 2018 – vs Washington Capitals
The amazing Brock Nelson started the scoring two minutes in. The Islanders proceeded to give up two straight goals to Lars Eller and Sochi Olympic hero T.J. Oshie. Andrew Ladd was able to score his first goal in about two years but in typical Islander fashion Dmitri Orlov puts a softie right past Chris Gibson.
The goaltender of the future did not look much like one and was pulled once Andre Burakovsky scored early in the second. A barrage of Capitals goal came after as Nicklas Backstrom scored a power play goal.
Late in the third John Carlson made this game a Dougie Blowout and after a meaningless Ryan Pulock goal, T.J. Oshie scored his second of the game. After the game, many of the Capitals players criticized the Islanders players for making it too easy to move around on the ice. It’s one thing if your coach thinks you played bad (Weight didn’t) but it’s another level of embarrassment if your opponent is openly mocking your defensive system.
Capitals 7, Islanders 3
Friday, March 16, 2018 – @ Washington Capitals
The embarrassing comments and overall performance should have lit a fire under the Islander players’ asses, but it did not. I have been so openly critical of the team because they’ve had many games where they’ve been completely embarrassed and cower instead of responding with some fire. The first period of this game was a little calmer, with only T.J. Oshie scoring on a power play goal in the first.
The second period didn’t go so well for the Islanders, as the game slowly slipped away. Mat Barzal tied it early with a PPG but Nicklas Backstrom and later Matt Niskanen gave the Caps the lead again. It’s impressive how poor the Islanders’ defense actually is.
Alex Chiasson and Jakub Vrana put this game away early on the PP. The 5-1 deficit was too strong to overcome even with back to back PP goals by Brock Nelson and John Tavares. Lars Eller made it 6-3 and it was yet another game to forget.
One of the more memorable parts of this game was Ross Johnston ragdolling Tom Wilson before receiving a game misconduct for his fight. Johnston had been chasing after Wilson both games and was finally able to get his hands on him. Tom Wilson is probably one of the biggest scumbags in the NHL and Johnston let him know who was boss. I don’t think anyone wants to mess with that monster of a man.
Capitals 6, Islanders 3
Sunday, March 18, 2018 – vs Carolina Hurricanes
This looked to be a typical Islanders blowout in which they don’t show up for an entire period and let the game slip away from them early, but they actually put up some fight. The Canes scored early in the first with goals by Jacob Slavin and Lee Stempniak, but the game never looked to be out of reach.
The Islanders came storming back in the second, a period they’ve typically struggled in this year, and Josh Bailey and Anders Lee (PPG) scored to tie it up at 2. Of course, Victor Rask gave the Hurricanes the lead right back after yet another defensive lapse.
Lee continued his torrid goal scoring pace to tie the game up again on the Power Play, but Trevor Van Riemsdyk scored the dagger against the Islanders. The Hurricanes were able to shut down the Islanders for the rest of the game and the Islanders lost another heartbreaker. At this point it doesn’t even matter but the Islanders deserved a better fate.
Hurricanes 4, Islanders 3
Anders Lee has impressed the hell out of me this year. I always knew he was a good goal-scorer, but he can do so much more. Not only does he now have 35 goals, a career high, but he’s become a much more defensively sound player. By the end of the season he may be the first Islander in years to score 40 goals. He is a special kind of power forward who has a soft touch and a knack for goals. I’m very excited to see what the future holds for this young forward.
At this point I’m not so sure that Doug Weight even comes back after this season. The defense has been historically bad (legitimately), they’ve given up the most shots per game for any modern team since 1990-91, and they’re the first team EVER to have given up 50 shots six times or more. This isn’t just a personnel issue. Sure missing Calvin de Haan isn’t ideal but he isn’t Larry Robinson. In addition, at what point does this fall directly on the coach and his staff? It’s mind-blowing at this point that a professional hockey team hasn’t figured this out, but it’s already this late.
Make sure to follow me and all my misery @SupRos22, and make sure to follow @DoubleGSports for all your sports coverage.
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