The New York Islanders lost their home opener to the Cup contending Nashville Predators, 4-3, but the bright side on this night is they put in a better, more cohesive effort than their season-opening win in Raleigh.
Basically, they played from a goal or two behind all night, but consistently carved their way back. Mathew Barzal (tying it at 1-1), The Handsome Valtteri Filppula (tying it at 2-2), and new captain Anders Lee (to pull them to 4-3) chipped in the goals. Viktor Arvidsson’s two goals led the Predators.
But the third period began with Nashville leading 4-3, and the visitors held on for the victory.
Thomas Greiss made just 19 saves on 23 shots — not his fault for the loss, but that turn of fortune may be enough to give Robin Lehner a start Monday after Greiss earned a second consecutive start with his outstanding 45-save performance in Raleigh.
But We Liked Our Game
Seriously, the Islanders’ effort and cohesion was much closer to what Barry Trotz was looking for. I know people hated to hear that under Jack Capuano, but it’s a fact that sometimes you can play well and lose, just like you can play poorly and win (see: opening night in Raleigh).
This was actually a really well played game by the Isles. Problem is when you roster and play such liabilities, a simple set of plays can outweigh all of the positives from the team at large. It’s basically the inverse of a guy like Barzal covering for team deficiencies.— Carey Haber (@habermetrics) October 7, 2018
Trotz: “Our overall game I thought was pretty good. I thought we handled our speed pretty well, I thought we managed the puck a lot better than we did in Carolina. I thought we defended well. We just have to clean up a couple of individual things, but we had good battle tonight.” pic.twitter.com/rsEVRIY0dh— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) October 7, 2018
#Isles Barry Trotz: "We had a heavy concentration working on the back end and trying to go forward. I thought they played a lot more freer today. Things are coming a little more natural to them after a couple of games. The jitters are out. We’re in the thick of it now."— Andrew Gross (@AGrossNewsday) October 7, 2018
They’re back at it Monday afternoon for a holiday matinee at home against the Sharks.