The Islanders took on the Hurricanes, with whom they have had their way so far this season. One would look at this game and expect a bit of a letdown of a game - both teams played last night, both teams traveled, there was a state of emergency due to inclement weather and Carolina was offering ticket exchanges for those that couldn't or didn't want to make it to the game due to the conditions.
Those expecting a letdown weren't necessarily disappointed. The game felt a bit lethargic particularly when compared to the frenetic pace of the Islanders and Rangers game. Islanders fans will take the 4-1 victory nonetheless, though the team was hardly at their best. A fantastic game by Chad Johnson (one goal on 38 shots for a .974 save percentage) and a mediocre at best game by Anton Khudobin (three goals on 29 shots for an .897 save percentage) was ultimately what gave the Islanders the win in this one.
The Corsi Table
|#||Period One||Period Two||Period Three||Total|
|CF||CA||CF%||CF REL%||CF||CA||CF%||CF REL%||CF||CA||CF%||CF REL%||CF||CA||CF%||CF REL%|
|Player Data from War-On-Ice.com|
|All data is five on five and score adjusted.|
The play of Brian Strait and Travis Hamonic once again dragged down the Islanders tonight. Strait's performance in particular was quite abhorrent as he dragged everybody down with him and posted the worst possession numbers in each of the three periods. The team would have been looking at a decent possession game without him on the ice. The most concerning thing about that is that he was out on the ice for the most attempts of any Islander player despite the fact that he was having a horrendous game. As for his minutes, well:
Hmmmmm check out those ice times. pic.twitter.com/7zEOq5C88s— T (@Riz2525) February 18, 2015
The biggest positives for the Islanders were Thomas Hickey and Calvin de Haan. De Haan played wonderfully in his first game back and Hickey lead the team in possession. he two had shown success in the past working together, though they hadn't been paired at all this year. Michael Grabner led all forwards in possession this game along with Mikhail Grabovski and Cal Clutterbuck.
All in all, the defensive shell that the team seems to go into is rather bothersome, though they seemed to snap out of it in the third period. Their possession numbers actually weren't bad when they went up by three as they led the Hurricanes in Corsi by a total of ten to seven, but when up by two the margin was completely different with 37 attempts for the Hurricanes compared to only nine for the Islanders. That's pretty bad, and yes all of those numbers are at five on five.
The Stats Table
|#||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|
Frans Nielsen and Grabner put up their points and their possession numbers despite getting one offensive zone start, so that's pretty awesome. John Tavares was very John Tavares-y scoring on a crazy empty net shot from his own zone and adding a power play assist even though the possession numbers weren't great.
Hamonic took yet another penalty, the Islanders actually had better special teams than their opponents for once and nothing else of great significance happened. Oh...
And Brock Nelson scored!
The W.O.W.Y. Table
|Attempts For/Attempts Against - Even Strength Corsi Numbers With - Data from Natural Stat Trick|
Strait's bad game can be seen here. Strait made just about everybody on the ice worse with the exception of Nick Leddy in the tiniest of sample sizes. Ironically enough, the only person that Hamonic played worse with than Strait tonight was his regular partner in de Haan. No score adjusting is done in this chart and it's a lot redder than it normally looks.
Brian Strait - One More Peek
|Calvin de Haan||D||0:20||0||5||.00%||14:24||21||9||70.00%||-70.00%|
Here are the numbers for each player with and without Strait. All but three players were positive with him off the ice while one other, Ryan Strome, broke even without him. What's worse is that the one player better with Strait on the ice than only had a 57-second sample size. The de Haan numbers might be the most comical - they had 20 seconds of ice time with five attempts against and zero attempts for. An entire line played over three and a half minutes of ice time with Strait and they were outshot by ten to nothing. There was just nothing good about his performance.
If Lubomir Visnovsky isn't ready to go then Matt Donovan should get a chance preferably on the right side (not the left) of Hickey where he's performed well in the past. If that's not an option because the staff has lost all faith in him, they may want to call up Aaron Ness for an emergency call up because performances like these should not be acceptable regardless of whether or not the team won or lost.