“The Bruins made short work of the Islanders. They got an early goal and just never stopped from there.”
That line at the final buzzer from MSG’s Butch Goring succinctly tells the tale of an embarrassing 5-0 Islanders loss to the Boston Bruins at Nassau Coliseum, where the home team only managed 13 shots on goal in 60 minutes of theoretical play.
It also underlines the alarm after a weekend split in which they lost in regulation to the bottom feeding Red Wings (despite playing well) and got by with an overtime win over the playoff chasing Wild (despite playing pretty poorly).
All told, it’s two consecutive games where the team didn’t appear right nor ready. Worse, tonight’s game was against a major playoff threat, and the Islanders came nowhere near close to passing the test.
They can also add new injuries to their concerns, as both Valtteri Filppula and Cal Clutterbuck left the game with the ol’ “upper body” injuries. Filppula’s looked potentially long-term, likely his shoulder, which will pose some lineup questions as the playoffs near.
[Game Sum | Event Sum | Natural Stat Trick | HockeyViz]
On the ice, Robin Lehner was the biggest victim, conceding five goals on 39 Bruins shots. The opening goal by Sean Kuraly just 1:12 into the game was one he should have stopped, but it’s not his fault the Isles were then blitzed 14-2 on shots for that first period. He wasn’t sharp tonight, but he also was part of the reason they escaped the period only trailing 1-0.
The Bruins also scored early in the second period, on an awful fumbled puck in the slot by Clutterbuck that was immediately converted by Noel Acciari. (Matt Martin had fought Slovak giant Zdeno Chara to try to “get something going” at the start of the second. Nothing got going.)
Although the Bruins didn’t make it a near-insurmountable 3-0 lead until late in the middle period, with the way the Islanders played all night long, it never looked like they had a chance.
#isles tie club record with just 13 shots in a HOME game (outshot 39-13)— Eric Hornick (@ehornick) March 20, 2019
Done only once before: 10/31/2000 vs Boston, and the #isles won that game 4-2, despite being outshot 34-13. #NHL #NHLstats
This was a chance for the Islanders to maintain their tiebreaker hold on first place, with the Capitals playing against the Devils as they play out the string. Instead, they’ll fall two behind with nine games to go.
Mayfield: “They were playing May hockey and we were playing October hockey.”— Arthur Staple (@StapeAthletic) March 20, 2019
Barry Said of It
Coach Barry Trotz in the post-mortem:
“They got on top of us...tonight they looked like they were in playoff form. Some of our guys...just couldn’t get going. You have to execute and make quick decisions, and we didn’t do that. When a team is on top of you and making quick plays and decisions, you can’t make home run plays.”
He of course had no update on Filppula, but was asked what they would do if 51 is out long-term: Something they’ll have to evaluate as an organization, including considering what’s in Bridgeport.
Meanwhile, a return date with the Canadiens in Montreal looms Thursday.