The New York Islanders had an unprecedented alumni turnout for the night when they, for one last time, honored the memory of the late Bill Torrey, the man behind every thread that formed their dynasty years.
Unfortunately, that was the highlight of the night.
On the ice, the Islanders scored first (Scott Mayfield, with a friendly Flyers deflection) but were trailing by the end of the first, when James van Riemsdyk was left alone to score with three seconds to go.
That sent the Isles to the first intermission trailing 2-1, and they wouldn’t score again until it was well out of hand at 5-1, when Nick Leddy, Mayfield’s new partner, scored with 3:32 left in regulation to make the 5-2 final score.
The power play, as we’ve been accustomed to all year long, didn’t do anything to reduce the deficit.
“Absolutely [uncharacteristic hockey for us.] Everything they got, the goals, we gave. ... Three veteran players getting beat up ice. Power play didn’t get us back in.
“The biggest thing you can do when it’s not really going your way is you pull together, not pull apart. That’s playing for the guy next to you, doing the little things. … The answer is nowhere but our room. That’s where the answer is. There’s no help from the outside.”
>>Trotz, with no intentional commentary about the trade deadline or Bridgeport
In worse news, the Isles lost Johnny Boychuk early in the third after a puzzling hit by Jakub Voracek, who apparently thought he was in danger and took a five-minute interference major as a result. (Josh Bailey got a minor for the reaction, and Mayfield was tossed for going after him later in the period as Voracek exited the box.)
Jake Voracek injures Johnny Boychuk with a hit. Boychuk tells him "I will get you" pic.twitter.com/YDhon3hUxs— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) March 10, 2019
Also, though the Isles were at fault in the goals they conceded and gave away to the Flyers, attention will be turned to Thomas Greiss, who will carry the load until Robin Lehner is cleared to return. Greiss was relieved for Christopher Gibson to start the third, not so much for his performance but for the score at the time (5-1) and the heavy workload ahead, Trotz said.
No update on Boychuk, per Trotz, who also offers there’s no timeframe on Lehner’s return. Sounds like Greiss will have a heavy workload for a bit.— Andrew Gross (@AGrossNewsday) March 10, 2019
Overall, not a good night by any stretch other than the tribute and the alumni and Torrey family gathering.
So for the second time in a week, the Islanders lost to a Flyers squad backstopped by Brian Elliott. It’s also the first in this series of alternating nights with the Capitals’ schedule where they failed to keep pace with Washington for first place in the Metro.
Now they’re trailing the Capitals by two points, with a huge game looming Monday against the Blue Jackets.
Back to Happy Thoughts
Seriously though, even the long estranged John Tonelli — the original JT and standard bearer for #27 — was in the fold. That’s saying something:
John Tonelli said Jon Ledecky is "the reason that I'm probably here and back with the organization. He's a wonderful human being. He's one of the leaders of the ship that wants to bring it back. He wants to bring that old Islander winning attitude back, and it shows." #Isles— Brian Compton (@BComptonNHL) March 9, 2019