For the first two periods, we had a back and forth hockey game where the Canadiens would strike first, only for the Islanders to answer and tie the game. However, despite outshooting the Habs and continuing a trend upward in their quality of play, the wheels came off once again and the New York Islanders crumpled under the pressure to a 6-3 loss.
I don’t really have much else to say anymore. It’s the same thing every game. The Isles can’t play in the defensive zone and currently Mathew Barzal is the only Islander who can generate any offense. Having Jordan Eberle and Casey Cizikas out hurt an already thin forward group, but the Habs weren’t without injuries and were sellers during the trade deadline. There aren’t really any excuses left at this point, other than that coaching and management completely and utterly dropped the ball this season. The Isles have one of the best offenses in the league, with three players on pace to hit 80+ points, but they can’t keep the puck out of their net. They could’ve gone looking for help earlier in the season before their play fell off a cliff completely, and instead Garth Snow did nothing except claim that Calvin de Haan’s injury was the main thing that derailed the season. Not the team’s inability to play a 60 minute hockey game. Not the fact that the goaltending has been below average, or that the team was giving up like 50 shots a game, or...
The Islanders are bad and don’t seem to have a plan in motion to do anything other than to just go with the flow.
Poor play in the defensive zone led to a Brendan Gallagher deflection goal to open the scoring. Bad defensive zone coverage? A novelty.
Tanner Fritz tied the game with his second goal of the season and his NHL career. Fritz made his way through the Canadiens’ defense and made a nifty play to level the score at 1 a piece with 5 seconds left in the period.
Alex Galchenyuk scored his first of the night, after David Schlemko’s shot pinged off the post and left a clean rebound on an empty net for Galchenyuk to bury.
Josh Bailey then tied the game once again, when Nick Leddy set him on a breakaway. Bailey put a nice backhand shot past Charlie Lindgren.
Then, Galchenyuk scored again to restore Montreal’s lead. A miscue by Leddy put the puck on Mike Reilly’s stick, and he found Galchenyuk alone in front of Halak.
With three seconds left, Brock Nelson scored on the power play, tying the game once again. Anthony Beauvillier passed the puck off to Nelson who tipped it past Lindgren to make it 3-3.
Unfortunately, the Islanders’ offense would dry up after the second period, as Paul Byron and Noah Juulsen put the Canadiens up 5-3. It was Juulsen’s first NHL goal. Another Canadien had a big milestone night, as Galchenyuk completed his hat trick on an empty net goal, celebrating his 400th NHL game in style as the Islanders fell, 6-3.
Tomorrow, the Islanders travel to Pittsburgh to take on the Penguins. Pittsburgh made a big splash at the deadline to bring Derick Brassard to shore up their center depth, but still lost badly to the Boston Bruins in their last outing, 8-4. Hopefully the Islanders can rebound against one of their big rivals.