The Islanders took on the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday in another game in as many nights against another team perceived as a cupcake on the schedule. The Islanders won the game, though perhaps not as by quite as much as many expected. They took the lead into the first intermission by a score of two to nothing before letting their foot off of the gas in the second and allowing Toronto to tie it up. Fortunately Anders Lee was there to take control with his second goal of the night. Toronto wasn't able to respond in the third. Even with the Toronto net empty the Islanders were the better team. Here's how the numbers panned out.
The Corsi Stats
|#||Period One||Period Two||Period Three||Total|
|CF||CA||CF%||CF REL%||CF||CA||CF%||CF REL%||CF||CA||CF%||CF REL%||CW||CA||CF%||CF REL%|
|Player Data from War-On-Ice.com|
|All data is five on five and score adjusted.|
There has been a notable concern with the Islanders taking the lead and going into a defensive shell recently and that showed up tonight. The go into their defensive modes but it winds up with more chances for the opponent. It's clear that they lack either the personnel in the coaching staff or in the roster to be able to successfully do that. Jack Capuano often speaks about playing their game for a full 60 minutes, but he's the coach and he should notice that this happens quite frequently with the team in the lead. Fortunately it hasn't hurt them too much as they continue to have a stellar record in one goal games.
In terms of possession, the combination of Nick Leddy and Johnny Boychuk lead the way and did so in convincing fashion. They have had a few down games recently where that was concerned but they were really quite dominant tonight. They controlled the pace of play throughout all three periods and perhaps the biggest reason for the letdown in the second is that the staff adjusted their minutes and the best defensemen the Islanders have were inexplicably left off the ice for longer than they should have been.
The biggest possession letdown of the game came from the fourth line. The trio of Matt Martin, Casey Cizikas and Colin McDonald was in the cellar in terms of possession in the second and third periods. While they did manage to score, their performance between the last game with Edmonton and tonight was quite different. Last game they were at least positive in the Corsi category. Tonight they were anything but posting numbers in the 30's (20's where Cizikas was concerned) and were well below where they should ideally be. Combined the three had a 34.5 percent Corsi for percentage.
|#||All Scenarios||5v5||4v5 PK||5v4 PP|
|TOI - Time on Ice | G - Goals | A - Assists | ISC - Individual Scoring Chances | ICF - Individual Corsi | PND - Penalties Drawn | PNT - Penalties Taken | FOW - Faceoffs Won | FOL - Faceoffs Lost | BS - Blocked Shots | HIT - Hits | OZS - Offensive Zone Starts | DZS - Defensive Zone Starts | FA - Fenwick Against | P - Points|
|All Data from war-on-ice.com|
Lee lead the Islanders to victory with his two goals, but it shouldn't be overlooked that he also lead them in individual Corsi attempts with ten, scoring chances with nine and drew a penalty. He was simply fantastic tonight in all aspects and was obviously the main reason for the Islanders victory. The Boychuk and Leddy pairing was the victim of bad luck and a nice demonstration as to why not to use plus minus as a statistic. They were minus one tonight despite their absolutely awesome possession numbers. Hamonic and Strait were the defensive pair on all three goals so Capuano has likely banished Calvin de Haan to Mordor where he'll never be heard from again.
Eye on - Anders Lee
Lee made just about everyone on the ice including his line mates in a game where he was also doing everything else well. Leddy appears to be the lone odd blip in his production and he was only out with Nelson and Kulemin for a combined total of under a minute. He had a fantastic performance all the way around and it would have been great even if he hadn't scored the goals, but then again the team wouldn't have won. He might not win rookie of the year, but that doesn't mean his season hasn't been fantastic.