Wahlstrom shines in Isles’ comeback victory
The New York Islanders looked lifeless for about 55 minutes in their Monday matinee against the St. Louis Blues. Luckily for them, a game of hockey lasts 60 minutes and their last five and the first minute of overtime were enough to give the Isles a 3-2 OT victory.
The Blues got on the scoreboard first on an unfortunate deflection off of Anthony Beauvillier’s stick that got past Thomas Greiss. The Islanders looked solid though and kept the Blues off the scoresheet for the rest of the period.
The Islanders survived the second period as they were thoroughly outplayed by the Blues. They didn’t have their feet moving and Thomas Greiss was the only reason why it wasn’t a lost game. The Islanders went into the third period only down a goal.
The third period was a period in which the Islanders played like they had all of last season. They were hard on the puck, forced the Blues into turning the puck over, and grinded out the game.
Brock Nelson was finally able to get on the board with a little over five minutes to go. He was able to sneak a wrist shot past Jordan Binnington from the slot, one that Binnington maybe should have had. Regardless, the Islanders kept pushing and were able to tie it up with only 26 seconds left.
A Mathew Barzal shot-pass was deflected in front and into the net. Anders Lee looked to have originally tipped it in, but Barzal was credited for the goal and came flying down the handshake line on the bench.
The Islanders were able to sneak a point out of the game, but they weren’t done. With all that momentum, the Isles chased the Blues off Long Island with a quick overtime victory. As Brock Nelson was coming off the ice, he gave the puck over to Devon Toews.
Toews got to the top of the point and handed it off to Barzal. Barzal was able to loop around and behind the net. With all three Blues mesmerized with Barzal, he was able to feed Toews in the slot for an easy one-timer.
This win was a season-defining moment so far. If the Islanders had lost this game, it wouldn’t be a big deal but at the same time it would be a deflating loss. Yo-yoing between wins and losses is never a good way to start a season. The Islanders will be able to build on this win for weeks to come, as a comeback from two goals down against the Stanley Cup victors is a hell of an accomplishment.
The biggest story of this game is the NHL debut of 19 year old forward Oliver Wahlstrom. Ollie, along with Noah Dobson, was a 2018 first-round pick. Wahlstrom was brought up to fill in for the injured Jordan Eberle.
Wahly’s game is as advertised. In his first start he was strong on the puck, not afraid to shoot and was a heavy body. Wahlstrom is a bigger player than most people think and his snap shot is one of the best on the team. He thoroughly impressed his teammates and even got praise from his head coach;
The Islanders’ next game is in Winnipeg on Thursday night at 8 PM. This will be the first real road trip of the season, as the Islanders have only played one road game, in Carolina.
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