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Islanders Game Notes: Going Back to Cali

The Islanders looked impressive in Anaheim and Los Angeles but fell flat in San Jose

NHL: New York Islanders at Los Angeles Kings
One goal for each of the seven kingdoms.
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Islanders played three games in California since my last Game Notes post, earning the following results:

Wed., 10/17: 4-1 loss at Anaheim Ducks
Thu., 10/18: 7-2 win at Los Angeles Kings
Sat., 10/20: 4-1 loss at San Jose Sharks

As they prepare to resume play and incorporate adjustments at home, here are a few of my takeaways from the Cali swing:

1. He’s a Good Ladd.

Andrew Ladd had his best game as an Islander in the team’s 7-2 win in LA. It was his first three-point game for the team (one goal, two assists). He’s now got four points in five games this season (which is 13% of last year’s point total through 5% of the games).

On this night, Ladd played as if Barry Trotz took him aside before the game and told him that sturgeon fishing had just been outlawed in the United States and Canada and that Drew Doughty and the Los Angeles Kings were somehow responsible. He was engaged, he was enraged, he was all over the place wreaking havoc. If you don’t believe me, here’s the proof:

His great forecheck on Doughty led directly to one Filppula goal and his nifty self-pass off the boards to blow by Doughty led to another. He capped off the scoring in the third with a sweet deflection off a Mayfield shot. But aside from the scoring, he kept his legs moving and was physical all night long, finishing his checks and not taking the easy way out on the forecheck or penalty kill.

I don’t know about you but I will cherish this game for the rest of my life.

2. From Good to Badd.

Unfortunately, Ladd wasn’t so good the next game in San Jose. Neither were his teammates; the 4-1 loss on Saturday night was undoubtedly the Islanders’ worst game of the season.

Check out the Sharks’ first goal of the night, a rebound put home by Timo Meier that Ladd just stood there and watched even though it was his turnover that led directly to it.

3. Good Josh, Bad Josh.

This is the theme of the week because I think it’s an accurate reflection of what this Islanders team will be this season. Good one night, bad the next. Good one period, bad the next period. Good on one power play, bad on the next one.

Here’s Josh Bailey showing us the good and the bad:

On the Islanders’ first power play against LA, Bailey made a beautiful play to keep the puck in, which led to his second goal of the season. On their very next PP, Bailey turned the puck over several times, one of them leading to a shorthanded chance for the Kings.

I know the schedule has been difficult thus far, with four of the first seven games coming against two of the best teams in the NHL, but I think this is still likely to be how the Islanders perform throughout the year: up and down and back around.

4. The People Demand the Cadillac Trivia Question.

The season before last, MSG Networks implemented a change to the Cadillac Trivia segment that is a part of every hockey and basketball game broadcast on its channels.

For hockey games, the question is presented at the start of the second period and it used to be that the answer was provided at the start of the third period. But starting two seasons ago, MSG changed it so that the answer would no longer be revealed until after the game, during the post-game show.

This was a pointless move and it should be changed back to how it was, with the answer provided at the start of the third period.

First of all, nobody is tuning into the post-game show for the trivia answer. Literally not one single person. If someone wants to know the answer to a question that bad, they’d look it up on the internet.

Second of all, MSG already switched it back for Knicks broadcasts. They, too, made the change a few seasons back to postponing the answer until the post-game show. But they’ve since switched it back to showing the answer during the actual game (before the fourth quarter). They recognized that the Cadillac Trivia segment wasn’t broke, so it didn’t need fixing. And ever since they changed it back, the Knicks have been the best team in the NBA and are heavy favorites to win the championship.

The Islanders broadcast should follow suit and go back to giving us the answer at the start of the third period.

I know this isn’t a big deal. It’s just a silly trivia question, sure. But these things always start small. Today, they take away the Cadillac Trivia answer. What’ll it be tomorrow? Think about that. And the day after tomorrow? Think about that, too. And what about the day after the day after tomorrow? No one ever thinks about that one.

There’s really no telling where this could go. If we need to mobilize and take to the streets, then that’s what we will do. And by “we” I of course mean all of you people, as I’m feeling kinda lazy and I’m busy that day anyway.

So come on, MSG. Give us the trivia answer during the game. Stop trying to solve problems that don’t exist. Be a friend of the people, not an enemy.

Do the right thing, MSG.

Do the right thing.

Until next time.