Basically: goaltending (bad) and games against Carolina (nightmares) happened.
The Slovakian elephant in the room, Jaroslav Halak, was not an option for tonight due to the snowpocalypse that ended up not being quite so bad in the NYC area.
"We never lost faith in Jaro. We think he needed to reboot his career, get some things solved, and it looks like he’s done it." - Weight— Laura Albanese (@AlbaneseLaura) March 14, 2017
Added Halak will be discussed tomorrow, a day off for the team https://t.co/JZB4CeTmFD— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) March 14, 2017
So Thomas Greiss — who let’s not forget, has been better than Halak for the entirety of Greiss’ time here — gets the start again tonight.
The Islanders’ “goaltending problem” has long been their insistence on keeping three (with Jean-Francois Berube) and Halak’s poor performance this season in that setting. Berube showed, alas, once again, that he’s...not the answer at backup. Certainly not now.
"I have a feeling there's going to be a few" lineup changes Weight said. Greiss starting.— Laura Albanese (@AlbaneseLaura) March 14, 2017
Weight says Cizikas needs a few more days. Might see Quine tonight. Seven D very possible, he says.— Laura Albanese (@AlbaneseLaura) March 14, 2017
So there we are. Alan Quine was among several forwards hurt on the nine-game road trip, some of whom qualify as “banged up” but kept playing.
Re: All the other injury updates. Weight said he needs to see everyone skate before game. Guys are varying levels of banged up.— Laura Albanese (@AlbaneseLaura) March 14, 2017
Weight added, according to Albanese, that the schedule has been “ridiculous” and fatigue is indeed a factor. Part of that is of course “grrrr Barclays!” doing since it was events at the arena that put the Islanders on the road for nine. Coming back for an immediate home-and-home just kind of salts the fatigue wound.
Scott Mayfield sat last night. He’d be back in if they go with seven defensemen. (Is seven D the answer to preventing eight goals? Does he know not all seven can play at once?)
Whatever, man. They just need to not get Hurricaned again. It’s way too familiar and haunting, and all the more frustrating when the opponent is going through a late ‘90s Islanders-style playoff drought.
Cam Ward starts for the Canes, because 1) he can do back-to-backs against the Isles, no problem, and 2) Carolina coach Bill Peters made backup Eddie Lack an unperson befitting most Isles goalies of the last decade.
The Hurricanes are still nine points back of the second wild card spot. They don’t really pose a playoff threat. They can just really, really tear apart the Isles’ hopes.
Speaking of which, the Leafs are one point up, have a game in hand, and play in Florida tonight.
After a disaster on national television last night, this one is rightly relegated to MSG+2 (twice the plus!)
Check Canes Country for previews and overall Hurricanes coverage.
Leave your First Islanders Goal picks here by game time, which is 7 p.m. EDT.