This evening, the Islanders played their last game that starts later than 10:00 p.m. until December. By then, we should have a better idea of what this team is. Right now, it is still very much up in the air, amidst our speculation that they are not great. Tonight, they sort of fulfilled our expectation, both in process and result.
[Game Sum | Event Sum | Corsica | Natural Stat Trick | HockeyViz]
Losing an Edge and Getting It Back
Midway through the first, the Sharks demonstrably controlled the ice and it did culminate in a lead. Thomas Hickey lost an edge entering the defensive zone and San Jose set up in a 3-on-2. Timo Meier ended up the open man and the man down low, and after a few attempts, he put the puck past Robin Lehner to give the home team the 1-0 lead.
As the period neared its end with San Jose comfortably in the driver’s seat, Josh Bailey flung a saucer at Brock Nelson as he cut toward the net with speed, and Nelson beat Jones to tie the game at 1-1. The Islanders went into the first intermission thinking they had a game on their hands. They did not.
Losing an Edge and Not Getting It Back
About five minutes into the period, Scott Mayfield made a clearing attempt out of the San Jose zone and gave it right to Antti Suomela, who deked and dangled his way around Robin Lehner but did not score. He did recover his own rebound, though, and made a sweet pass connect with Joonas Donskoi to finish it off.
The Sharks didn’t cede play after taking the lead, either. With the puck deep in the Islanders zone, Brent Burns battled it away from Jordan Eberle, skated in with it from the corner and danced around Hickey and Lehner before burying it to give San Jose a much more comfortable 3-1 lead.
Getting Edgy and Trying to Get Back at Them
Logan Couture erased any doubt that the Sharks were going to win early in the third by giving them a 4-1 lead, and San Jose continued to outshoot the Islanders to ensure their victory.
And then things got rather chippy. Arguably, the feisty behavior began in the second with Mayfield’s fight with Barclay Goodrow, but that was singular and ended without further fisticuffs. This was different. Line brawls erupted. Burns and Matt Martin engaged in a scuffle in which it appeared Burns gave Martin a slew foot to take him down, which Martin was understandably peeved at. Anders Lee and Evander Kane went at it during the line brawl, and later “fought” at the end of the period to settle the score.
All in all, the Islanders lost a few players to misconducts and fighting majors, and lost by three goals.
Thoughts and Feelings
I think that it is late and I feel tired. These are my thoughts and feelings. Thank you.
The Isles have yet another three-day lapse between games. On Wednesday night, they play their final home game of October when the Florida Panthers come to town. Roar.