In a poor effort by the New York Islanders where nothing seemed to go their way, the team let up five goals to their biggest rivals who earned their first win against the Isles since 2016. The Islanders failed to generate any real dangerous shots, while Robin Lehner was nowhere near his best, and the combination led to a game to forget.
Well, this was a complete disaster. Filip Chytil scored 29 seconds into the game, and the Rangers never looked back. Three minutes after Chytil’s goal, notable goon Cody McLeod doubled the Rangers lead, breaking nearly a year-long scoreless streak. Former Islander and Edmonton Oiler Ryan Strome earned his first point with the other New York team on a secondary assist on the goal.
Leo Komarov was called for a weak slashing call, and a Neal Pionk slapshot put the Rangers up by three.
To close out the period, Josh Bailey drew a penalty, and Nick Leddy rang a shot off the crossbar.
The power play had a different look to start the second period, with Mathew Barzal, Johnny Boychuk, Brock Nelson, Michael Dal Colle, and Anthony Beauvillier making up the first unit, while Anders Lee, Josh Bailey, Jordan Eberle, Nick Leddy, and Ryan Pulock making up the second. However, the new set ups looked just as disjointed as the old, and were equally as ineffective.
Cody McLeod and Ross Johnston seemed destined for a fight from the start of the game, and finally the two dropped the gloves. McLeod made a borderline hit on Johnston, who obviously took exception, and landed a few good punches on McLeod to win the fight. McLeod left the game after the fight with a hand injury and did not return.
The second period was by far a better period for the Islanders, though it wasn’t reflected in the scoresheet. Unfortunately, on one of the few shifts where the Rangers were able to pressure the Isles, Scott Mayfield failed to clear the puck and Kevin Shattenkirk got the puck to Kevin Hayes who faked Robin Lehner and scored into an empty net.
At the other end of the ice, Eberle missed a wide open net of his own, keeping the Islanders down 4-0 to close the period.
With the whole period basically garbage time, the Islanders attempted to make a comeback but never had any real threatening opportunities on Alexandar Georgiev. Chris Kreider sealed the win (more than it already had been by his four other teammates, I guess) with a short side goal past Lehner, and at that point the Isles were just waiting for the clock to run out.
- The new power play units were somewhat interesting, especially with Trotz and staff showing they want to give Dal Colle some more quality opportunities without sticking him in the deep end right away. He really needs to get some opportunities at even strength away from limited guys like Gionta and Johnston, though.
- Speaking of giving young players opportunities, one can’t help but look at the Rangers and the tempo they’re playing at and think about how so much of that is driven by their young players. Chytil (19), Howden (20), DeAngelo and Pionk (23), and Skjei (24) are all being given big minutes, and other younger NHLers like Hayes (26), Vesey, and Zibanejad (25) round out the team.
- Compare that to the Islanders, who regularly only have Barzal and Beauvillier (21) and Pelech and Pulock (24) as their under-25 contributors, and have 14 regulars 27 or older. At some point, you have to take a hard look at the ineffective and older players and just cut bait. Michael Dal Colle, Josh Ho-Sang, and Devon Toews need to be given chances to play with the Islanders.
- Losing to the Rangers really sucks.
On Friday, the New York Islanders take on the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center. Hopefully they won’t be as lethargic after Thanksgiving dinner as I’m sure many LHHers will be. Happy Thanksgiving to all our readers!