The Islanders did not execute, and their power play failed them (again) last night in Tampa, so they now face the final game of their 13-game road slog with the prospect of coming home below NHL .500.
They’ve already dug themselves a hole thanks to the Metro’s “Everyone’s a Winning Team!” nature this season. That’s sure to change as Metro teams finally beat each other, of course. And perhaps finally opening UBS Arena and getting some home games in will lift their spirits. But at this point the Isles are five points and five teams away from the final wild card spot. An 0-3 final leg of this road trip would be not cool, Dude. Not cool.
Tonight is a chance to avenge the opening-weekend 5-1 loss to the Panthers. FYI, it is available ONLY on ESPN+ and Hulu. So if you’re not a subscriber to those...find your friends who are.
Barry Trotz had expressed frustration over the team’s “80%” buy-in over the weekend. Last night in Tampa did not assuage his concerns. But “for two periods I thought we were okay, we were fine” (other than the mistakes he outlined in those two periods).
Trotz was not thrilled with Oliver Wahlstrom, among others (“He’s forgotten his details. He’s a guy who might not have been in if Casey was out.”). He did say he thought Kieffer Bellows “played pretty well.”
He also talked about Noah Dobson, who was scratched to make way for Forgotten Man Sebastian Aho: “Noah’s been inconsistent, and also the power play hasn’t been going, and that’s supposed to be Sebastian’s...strength.” (He said he was happy with Aho’s game, too.)
Trotz Postgame Availability pic.twitter.com/75ZAG34UQe— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) November 16, 2021
- Cizikas ill, Aho in, but ugh, can this road trip be over already? [LHH]
- Andrew Gross writes up the comments about Wahlstrom, whose minutes were down. [Newsday]
- The power play has just sucked. [Newsday]
- Three Takeaways: Self-destruction, Aho and Bellows in, and what a way to celebrate Andy Greene’s 1000th regular season game. [Isles]
- Rapid Recap: The details, the brief lineup notes, and one nice photo of that sweet Barzal goal, before everything went south. [Isles]
- Brian Compton spoke to Travis Zajac, among others, to reflect on the Game 7 loss to the Lightning. [NHL]
- The Skinny from last night. [Isles]
- Lightning fans enjoyed this one, naturally. [Raw Charge]
- Looking ahead: The Panthers started on a tear, ten went on a 0-2-2 road trip. They’re looking forward to a homestand, starting tonight. [Panthers]
- Jon Ledecky joined Hockey Night in New York and you could say the man is pumped for his new arena to open. [Stitcher]
- That arena opens Saturday, but the opening events will last a lifetime!...or at least a month. [Bank of Some Sort Arena PDF]
- Pat Maroon likes to pick fights with Zdeno Chara (FYI he also likes to bully floor hockey players with his brother at random Salvation Army’s, I’m told):
Safe to say there's been a history between Zdeno Chara and Pat Maroon pic.twitter.com/bERzSSiqj4— Islanders Videos (@SNY_Islanders) November 16, 2021
Last night’s only other NHL score, because the league wanted everyone to focus on the Hall of Fame, was Columbus beating the Red Wings.
- Here are excerpts of the Hall of Fame inductee speeches, which somehow include Kevin Lowe. You know what? Let’s make a case for Pat Maroon. He’s got three Cups and intangibles. Totally makes sense. [NHL]
- Multi-Cup-winning Possessor of Intangibles Kyle Clifford is on waivers, so the Blues can stay under the cap. [TSN]
- Must Be Fun at Parties: Ron Francis is not making excuses but he’s kind of saying the Kraken expected goaltending and defense to be a strength but instead they’ve let him down. [NHL]
- Looks like it will be a month on the shelf (not an elf, mind you) for JT Compher. [NHL]
- Bummer, man: Ryan Ellis returned to the Flyers lineup only to return to the injured list. [TSN]
- The NHL has finally, mercifully, postponed the next three Senators games after their roster has been ravaged by Covid. [Silver Seven | NHL PR]
- For the quarantined Senators, this is a mental and physical drain. [Sportsnet]
- There are some attendance bright spots, some attendance concerns, and one team that hasn’t played a home game yet. [Athletic]
- The Leafs ownership is “fantastically supportive” of Brendan Shanahan’s plan for that team. [Sportsnet]