Before we start the recap, I’d like to get something off my chest: AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
That game was... bad. It’s not surprising given how the Tampa Bay Lightning have routinely dismantled the Islanders this season, but another blowout on home ice should mean the coaching staff goes. I’d like to think it means that, because they’re clearly out of answers. Cal Clutterbuck on the first line, playing seven defensemen (including Travis Hamonic, who still has a broken thumb), scratching and cutting the ice time of Anthony Beauvillier, who has been one of the best possession players for a team desperately needing to maintain possession...
The power play is atrocious, the penalty kill gave up at least a goal in eight straight games, and the Islanders are closer to a lottery pick than a playoff spot. For a team that’s had the reputation of being on the rise, it’s looking more like a backwards free fall right now.
It’s been so bad, the fans are letting the organization hear how they really feel.
Add “We Want Refunds” to the chants heard tonight list.— Christian Arnold (@C_Arnold01) November 15, 2016
Same Old Story
The Isles started off slow but seemed to take control of the first period, earning a slight possession edge until…
J.T. Brown scored off a nice quick passing play with a minute left in the period. About 40 seconds after that, Andrej Sustr took a shot that was tipped in by Ryan Callahan, leaving the Isles reeling down 2-0 heading towards the first intermission. Nikita Kucherov also hit the crossbar in the last few seconds of the period, highlighting the full on last minute collapse.
The second period was overall not one the Islanders were hoping for when already down 2-0, as the Lightning outshot them 17-4.
The penalty kill actually had a good game, killing off a Jason Chimera double minor for high sticking. This was mainly due to Jaroslav Halak’s heroic saves, but at even strength Tampa Bay dominated, and Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos combined to give the Lightning a three-goal lead. Shortly after, Kucherov and Stamkos combined again, this time feeding Vladislav Namestnikov to make the game 4-0.
It appears a few of the announced 12,498 have decided to call it a night before the third period starts.— Arthur Staple (@StapeNewsday) November 15, 2016
Andrei Vasilevskiy had a solid game for the Lightning, making 34 saves and earning the shutout.
Scott Mayfield played his first game with the Islanders for the season, and endeared himself to his teammates and to fans by fighting J.T. Brown after Brown laid an open ice hit on Tavares.
JT Brown takes a run at John Tavares. Scott Mayfield says I don't think so and drops the gloves. They both get fighting majors— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) November 15, 2016
There was a fire drill in my building for a big chunk of the third, but I don’t think I missed too much.
While the Islanders outshot the Lightning significantly in the third period, it was pretty much all garbage time. Brendan Burke pointed out on the broadcast that Tampa coach Jon Cooper was angry his team seemed to be taking the period off, but the 4-0 lead had pretty much secured them the win before the final 20 minutes even began.
The Islanders face the defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins, who are 10-3-2, in Brooklyn on Friday. Hopefully they have a new coaching staff by then.
Pretty morbid #Isles room. Guys are trying to remain positive, but man.— Brian Compton (@BComptonNHL) November 15, 2016
In the meantime, Shannon Hogan’s latest blog entry was really great, and should put things like the performance of a stupid hockey team in perspective. It’s worth the read.