Islanders Puck Talk – Weekly Review
It was another up and down week for the Islanders. They win a couple games, lose a couple games, can’t get on a consistent streak win or lose. If the Isles are going to be there in the end with the rest of the Metro, they’re going to need to be able to close games out and convert on the PP. Here’s what we have for this week.
Dallas Stars @ New York Islanders – November 18th, 2018
Score – 6-2 Stars
Player of the game – Scott Mayfield I guess
Team Grade – D+
Yikes. This was probably the worst collective effort from the second period on that we’ve seen from the Islanders. Anthony Beauvillier was masterful in his first goal as the Islanders were actually up at one point, going into the locker room up 1-0 after one.
Things fell apart in the second, as the Stars scored four straight goals and took a commanding 4-1 lead. The Isles were outworked, outhustled and embarrassed quite frankly. The third period gave the Isles a glimmer of hope as Scott Mayfield ripped a shot just 24 seconds in, but Dallas weathered the short lived Islander storm and scored two goals to keep the game completely out of reach.
New York Islanders @ New York Rangers – November 21st, 2018
Score – 5-0 Rangers
Player of the game – No one
Team Grade – F
Yeah so Isles fans things couldn’t get worse? How about getting shutout on the road against their most hated rival, getting embarrassed by a bunch of young players, and not being able to score a goal on a backup. The Islanders lost for the first time against the Rangers in years, but the loss felt deflating.
Filip Chytil scored just 30 seconds into the contest, Cody McLeod scored his first of the year a few minutes later, and the game was lost from then. It’s not even that Robin Lehner played all that bad. It’s more that the Islanders just didn’t show up, didn’t compete, and let the Rangers get open shots all game. The fourth goal given up to Kevin Hayes was pathetic, as he was able to walk right into the slot and stick handle past Robin Lehner with ease.
New York Islanders @ New Jersey Devils – November 23rd, 2018
Score – 4-3 Islanders (OT)
Player of the game – Mathew Barzal
Team Grade – B-
The Islanders are very lucky they got two points out of a game they let slip away. Jordan Eberle scored the lone goal in the first period, and the Isles weren’t able to fend off the Devils for the rest of the game. They had three separate one goal leads that all got washed away. Taylor Hall started it off in the second to tie it at one, but Anders Lee came right back to give the Isles another one goal lead.
After a Brian Boyle goal tied up the game early in the third, Nick Leddy actually decided to look like himself and turn on the jets. His hustle was rewarded with a goal, as he threw a shot off Keith Kincaid’s pads and scored off his own rebound. Leddy’s goal was for naught as Marcus Johansson scored with just ten seconds left in the game.
It could have been a backbreaking defeat, but Mathew Barzal was able to break free on a breakaway and stuff his own rebound home in overtime. Realistically, this game should have been over long before overtime, but a win is a win. However, it goes to show that you absolutely cannot let teams back into games.
Carolina Hurricanes @ New York Islanders – November 24th, 2018
Score – 4-1 Islanders
Player of the game – Valtteri Filppula
Team Grade – A+
This was a flawless game by the Islanders. They had defensemen scoring, they had all four lines buzzing, they got in the way of the Hurricanes and they never gave them any real chances. It also helps that they scored on their first two shots. In fairness, Val Filppula’s goal on the first shot of the game was an absolute gem, weaving through four Hurricanes before backhanding the puck into the net.
Anthony Beauvillier, Josh Bailey, and Adam Pelech added goals to put this game away early in the third. Pelech’s goal was actually a beauty, on a nice feed by Anders Lee. It was good to see the D get involved in the play, as many Islander fans have been waiting for Devon Toews to get called up. A late goal was given up to Justin Williams, but Thomas Greiss was fantastic and the Islanders capitalized on pretty much all their chances.
Washington Capitals @ New York Islanders – November 26th, 2018
Score – 4-1 Capitals
Player of the game – Valtteri Filppula
Team Grade – B- , F on special teams
This was a special teams loss, plain and simple. The Islanders played well enough in all three periods to at least squeak a point out of the game. Val Filppula had ANOTHER backhanded goal, but the Isles didn’t record a shot for over half of the second period.
The Capitals were able to get sticks in lanes, block shots, and do exactly what they did on the way to the Stanley Cup. They prevented the Islanders from scoring on the Power Play in four opportunities, and scored to essentially put the game away when only up 2-1. The Islanders have no one to blame but themselves because they squandered so many opportunities AND took two late penalties to give the Capitals a 5 on 3 advantage.
The Islanders had another up and down week, and quite frankly they just need to play better. It’s a real shame that they couldn’t win more games this week, but as long as they’re in the thick of things come the new year, all is well on the Island.
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