That wasn’t the worst game they have ever played, but that was not very inspiring hockey by the New York Islanders. After two straight two-goal comebacks against theoretically strong opponents, the Islanders failed to score any goals against a theoretically weaker opponent in the Arizona Coyotes on a night where their elite goaltender only gave up one goal (and he didn’t really stand a chance on it).
They out-attempted the Coyotes, but they got out-high-dangered by a fair margin. It tracks with the Islanders missing the net 23 times and seeing 17 more shots blocked. It was frustrating to watch and probably even more frustrating to play. That’s hockey sometimes. Well done, Karel Vejmelka. And Arizona is now 3-0 to start its 14-game road trip and 6-6-1 overall—higher up in the standings than the Calgary Flames.
About last night:
- The Islanders need to be down two goals to come back is the lesson we should take away from last night. [LHH]
- Actually, what also helps a comeback is shooting on target. You cannot miss as many shots as you hit. [3 Takeaways]
- Travis Boyd got the game-winner on the power play; Arizona has a surprisingly hot power play to start the season. [Rapid Recap]
- While that was a game they should have won, it is still only their second loss in nine games. It happens, as Forrest Gump said. [Newsday]
- Good news: Cal Clutterbuck returned last night after missing the end of the Calgary game and all of the Rangers game. [Newsday]
- Bad news: Casey Cizikas collided with a Coyote on a late-game faceoff and took a shoulder to the head. There were only five minutes left in the game, but he left early. [NY Post]
- Ilya Sorokin had shut out the Coyotes for eight periods and one minute before finally conceding one to them... in the third period of the third game they have taken shots toward him. It was a shutout streak of 161:00 exactly, and it’s still the only goal he’s let up against Arizona. A wonder, truly. [NYI Skinny]
- It has been another year of ups and downs for Oliver Wahlstrom, who has struggled to find consistency and, as a result, has played under ten minutes in the last two games. [The Athletic]
- J-G Pageau has become the Islanders’ go-to faceoff man, getting all the high-leverage ones. It helps that he has more offensive prowess than Casey Cizikas, who is also good on faceoffs. [Newsday] And it’s his birthday.
- Mike Rupp takes us into the Tape Room to break down what has made the Islanders successful this season. [NHL Network YouTube]
- Count Eric Fichaud among those fond of the Fisherman jersey. [Islanders]
- Red Road at Belmont Park has been renamed NY Islanders Way. [Islanders]
Last night’s NHL scores include the Bruins sending the Flames to their seventh straight loss, and Jack Eichel leading the way to a 7-4 Golden Knights win in his old stomping grounds, Buffalo, with a revenge hat trick.
- Evander Kane is in “good spirits” after his scary wrist injury and will meet with the team tomorrow. [NHL]
- P.K. Subban is officially moving into broadcasting, signing a multi-year deal with ESPN. [NHL]
- It appears that rumors of the Boston Bruins’ demise have been greatly exaggerated. How they beat the projections and have been unbeatable. [ESPN]
- Mark Spector has a lot of problems with you people (the Oilers), and we’re gonna hear about them. [Sportsnet]