The Islanders were kind of lucky to be up 2-0, but for the grace of Greiss, after the first period last night in Vegas. (Barry Trotz and Anders Lee called the first period good despite the shot count, but some of those chances Greiss stopped were Grade A.) Their luck and Greiss’ heroics ran out, and perhaps the third road game in four nights caught up to them, as the Golden Knights caught and passed the Isles in the final 40 minutes to grab a 4-2 (EN) win.
The officiating was definitely, um...unsound — continuing a recent trend in the last week of Islanders games. But this one felt like a fair result (the Isles were outshot 47-21, extreme even for Trotzian shot quality bias), and underlined the importance of winning the first two games on this trip.
Thankfully Johnny Boychuk is okay after a head shot from Oscar Lindberg, which Anthony Beauvillier took exception to, creating a 4-on-4 that was poor. But there you have it.
- About last night: LHH | Isles | Newsday | Knights on Ice | NYI Skinny | NHL
- Trotz the system: The Islanders’ vast improvement under their new coach, who had the benefit of showing his new charges how he won the Cup just months before: “We tried to take the uncertainty out and play a way I know works. The guys have bought in...the why we did it and how we did it has given them real good clarity.” [Isles]
- Speaking of Trotz, in the latest Islanders Anxiety Dan and Mike discussed how they are all in on what the man is doing. Full trust. Also: Still full rage for that 91 guy. [LHH]
- Happy, happy sight: Thomas Hickey at yesterday’s morning skate. [Newsday]
- Luca Sbisa was excited to be back in Vegas, with lots of friends and memories from their Cup finals run. [Isles]
- And related to both of those: Devon Toews continues to get better, and says patience is no problem for him as he awaits his shot. [Newsday]
- PTIsles podcast: Ho-ho-HO-Sang. [Sound Cloud]
“In the second we knew they were going to have a push and we weren’t as committed as we were in the first.” #NYIvsVGK pic.twitter.com/SroVeEeL6D— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) December 21, 2018
Last night’s NHL scores include the Flyers winning again under Scott Gordon, and the Penguins winning too.
- Elliotte Friedman tries to suss out how the Hakstol firing went so messy, and wonders what is going on with the Berglund contract termination. [31 Thoughts]
- If Berglund is interested, his old team back home would welcome him back. [Buffalo News]
- This and that trends so far, including John Gibson’s historic first third of the season. [ESPN]
- A look at Team USA candidates ahead of the World Junior final cuts. [Athletic]
- Are defense and offense worth the same in modern hockey? (No, of course not. But...) This piece kind of misunderstands some of the factors in players’ focus on defense as they age (the Bowman-Yzerman transition, for example), but lots of good here. [Faceoff]
- Marc Bergevin has realized, many years into the job, you should probably pay attention to a player’s existing environment before acquiring him. (Re: The Alzner mistake, and the Domi and Tatar salvages) [Athletic]