The Islanders needed to take two points out of tonight’s game. They came in on a three-game losing streak and hadn’t scored in 5 periods. They had two days off and entered the night nine points ahead of the Canadiens. Tonight would have been a good opportunity to get back on track.
Which made tonight’s disgraceful showing all that more disappointing. They absolutely, positively sucked tonight and I hate them.
Things started off innocently enough. It was choppy for both sides through the first 15 minutes and neither team really made things difficult for the other side. But off a face-off at the offsides dot on the Canadiens side of the ice, Montreal cleared it all the way down. Thomas Greiss picked up the puck and threw it at the boards and away from Nick Leddy. It spurred some offensive zone time for the Habs and Brendan Gallagher tipped home a shot from Ben Chiarot.
A couple minutes later, the Canadiens won a face-off in the Isles’ zone and got it out to the point. Leo Komarov just kind of skated with Jeff Petry and didn’t challenge him. Petry used him and some more traffic in front to create a screen to beat Greiss low and on the short side.
And, just for good measure, Komarov had the puck at the Islanders’ blue line and instead going forward with it, he gave a two-foot pass to Devon Toews behind him. Toews panicked and threw it right at Charles Hudon, who fired a bullet from afar over Greiss’ shoulder.
Semyon Varlamov came out for the second period. The Islanders were not remotely inspired by the switch and did absolutely nothing to make it look like they even cared they were down three goals.
They got a power play and, instead of spending time in the Canadiens’ zone, they spent time in their own, even allowing Joel Armia and Paul Byron to connect for a shorthanded goal against. They managed to get one more power play before the end of the period, but it was more of the same.
#Isles had two power plays in the second. MTL had a 4-1 edge in attempts during those power plays.— Arthur Staple (@StapeAthletic) March 4, 2020
Feels like something(s) have to change, but what? And when? 17 games left after tonight.
17 seconds into the third period, it looked like the Islanders finally broke the drought, only to learn that Anders Lee kicked the puck in. They finally did break the drought, but only because Carey Price turned it over behind the net. Josh Bailey found Brock Nelson all by himself and deposited it into the empty net.
They conceded another goal to Jordan Weal to make it 5-1 with under five minutes left. Then, they had nearly two full minutes of a five-on-three that Ryan Pulock converted with a wrist shot. They pulled the goalie to go 6-on-4 for the rest of their power play time, and Armia fired into an empty net to make it 6-2.
- Johnny Boychuk took Artturi Lehkonen’s skate to his face in the third period and it was scary as hell. He skated right off on his own and wasn’t seen for the rest of the night. We hope he is okay. It looked nasty, though.
Here’s the incident between Artturi Lehkonen and Johnny Boychuk. Boychuk rushed off the ice in a panic. pic.twitter.com/35Ab12TB1V— Eric Engels (@EricEngels) March 4, 2020
- Mathew Barzal was benched for much of the third period. Probably would’ve been the rest of the third period if not for the five-on-three chance. Not sure what he did, but he was one of the few guys that showed up at all tonight, so I don’t know that Barry Trotz made the right move there.
- These guys look like trash, overall, right now. Another four-game losing streak. These were two points there for the taking in a tight playoff race where most of the teams around them are faltering, and they looked like they couldn’t be bothered. It’s like they want this to be harder on themselves than it has to be. I don’t get it. No sense of urgency.
- They got booed off the ice after the first and booed even harder coming off from the second period. Normally, I try not to boo my own team, but I would’ve been screaming it if I was there tonight. If they don’t want to put in the effort, they deserve to know how we feel about it. So I hope no one in that locker room, the players or the staff, mention anything about the fans booing, because they deserved that and then some.
The Islanders are off to Ottawa to take on the Senators, a team near the bottom of the standings. It is J-G Pageau’s first time back in Ottawa since he was trade a week ago. There is unequivocally no excuse for the Islanders to not win that game. So they better fucking do it. It’s a 7:30 p.m. start.