Now, it’s a streak. Despite a great effort and playing well enough to win, the New York Islanders on Sunday night fell in regulation to the Minnesota Wild, which means that they have lost two straight games and taken away exactly zero points from them. They have also dropped back below NHL .500, going 1-3-0 in their last four games.
And who did they lose those three regulation games to, you might ask? You guessed it: Frank Stallone.
No, but actually, those three losses came against teams currently in playoff position, and the one win came against the Philadelphia Flyers, who just Saturday won their first game in 2022. This has been a recurring theme this season, and with each loss, the difference between their record against playoff and non-playoff teams becomes starker—they now hold a record of 2-14-2 against playoff teams.
About last night:
- Another comeback that fell short—the Isles made a couple of mistakes early in the game on which the Wild capitalized, and Minnesota never relinquished the lead. [LHH]
- Minnesota scored two goals off deflections. Deflections are often lucky, but teams do practice it, and it frequently works against the Islanders; maybe that’s just because the Islanders suffocate most other types of offense, but they get beat on tips a lot. [Rapid Recap]
- Meanwhile, the Islanders threw a season-high 43 shots on goal and still lost. [Newsday]
- That’s because Kaapo Kahkonen came up strong for the Wild. [NHL]
- Barry Trotz liked that his team “stayed in the fight” against one of the league’s elite teams. [3 Takeaways]
- Even though they have lost all their games to playoff teams this month, it isn’t all bad news: “The Isles have allowed only 24 goals in their last eleven games; their 2.18 goals-against average is the lowest in the NHL in that span, dating back to December 30.” [NYI Skinny]
- Listen to Barry.
Trotz Postgame Availability pic.twitter.com/4d6fawSiD3— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) January 31, 2022
- The Islanders’ schedule in January did not feature too many difficult games. But the Islanders’ record in the four games against playoff teams this month: 0-4-0. They took no points from games against the Capitals, Maple Leafs, Kings, and Wild. [The Athletic]
- It doesn’t help that of late, both Ilya Sorokin and Semyon Varlamov have been uncharacteristically average or worse. What’s most confounding to me is that it feels like they both have been making the big save—only to give up a howler. [NY Post]
- It also doesn’t help that Kyle Palmieri seems to have lost his confidence along with his offensive touch. Hopefully, both come back soon and in bunches. [NY Post]
- Ahead of last night’s game, the Islanders unveiled a plaque honoring the owner who kept them on Long Island when everyone tried to remove them: the late, great Charles B. Wang. Without his care, there is no UBS Arena at Belmont Park. [Newsday]
- As a reminder, Saturday afternoon’s Islanders-Kraken game was postponed due to a blizzard. It was rescheduled for this Wednesday, February 2, at 7:00 p.m. [Islanders]
- Now that new Vancouver Canucks President of Hockey Operations Jim Rutherford has filled out his front office and taken stock of his team, the Canucks appear ready to make moves. Conor Garland, only acquired this summer, might be available. Hey Lou. Hey, Lou! [Sportsnet]
- Carey Price spoke to the media for the first time since Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final back in July. He hopes to return “pretty soon.” [NHL | Sportsnet]
- The Calgary Flames and Colorado Avalanche have the best first lines by goal differential per 60 in the NHL this season. The Kraken and Montreal Canadiens have the worst. The Islanders’ top line sits at no. 18. All that sounds about right. [The Athletic]
- Former Devils, Bruins, and Canadiens coach Claude Julien had been leading Team Canada into the Winter Olympics. But he slipped on the ice and fractured some ribs, so he will have to miss the tournament. Former Islander and recently fired Chicago Blackhawks coach Jeremy Colliton will replace him. [ESPN]