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Islanders News: Starting slow becoming their downfall

Their superhero fatal flaw, if you will. They can’t come back every night.

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NHL: NOV 17 Islanders at Predators
Strike a pose.
Photo by Danny Murphy/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Sometimes, the New York Islanders win games they deserve to lose. Other times, like last night against the Nashville Predators, they lose games they deserve to lose. It’s simple, really: They need to play more than half a hockey game.

It is becoming a disturbing trend. I like their resiliency and ability to come back—it could be really useful come playoff time, but it’s an exhausting way to play all the time in the regular season and doesn’t always work. See last night. It’s just one game, and a better effort against the Dallas Stars tomorrow night would do well for their and our confidence in them.

Islanders News

About last night:
  • The inconsistency has become maddening and is even more frustrating when it leads to losses. [LHH]
  • When even a team site under the jurisdiction of Lou Lamoriello calls out the team starting slow, you know it’s a real problem. [3 Takeaways]
  • That’s because Lou recognizes it’s a problem and said so in his own, meandering-on-purpose way. But he is “pleased with the progress” so far. [The Athletic]
  • It was actually a three-goal deficit last night, but they got one back late in the second to make it two going into the third. They shot themselves in the foot, though, with a careless penalty that led to Nashville scoring to make it 5-3. [Newsday]
  • And it wouldn’t have been an Islanders-Predators game if some random kid on Nashville didn’t score two goals. [Rapid Recap]
  • You don’t need the Skinny for this stat—though there is plenty more to unpack in the Skinny—but Mathew Barzal is second in the league in assists, behind only Nathan MacKinnon. [NYI Skinny]
Other bits:
  • After waiving and assigning Nikita Soshnikov to Bridgeport, the Islanders did not correspondingly call someone up. Collecting that daily cap space, baby. [Newsday]
  • The Predators have Nino Niederreiter on their team, so it was a chance for Andrew Gross to revisit the trade that landed the Islanders Cal Clutterbuck. [Newsday]
  • It’s Food Drive time! Donate food for a good cause and get tickets to a game. [Islanders]
  • This (Yester)day in Isles History: Mike Bossy had a hat trick against the Rangers (1984) and Pierre Turgeon had a hat trick against the Senators (1993).
  • I’ve written here a long time and been a commenter even longer. As such, I feel I’ve gotten the vibe of the crowd here, and the vibe does not lend itself to caring about this bit—hell, I’m closer to the age demographic and this does nothing for me—but the Islanders partnered with FaZe Clan for Esports Night on December 6. I know FaZe Clan is huge in the esports world, but I know nothing else beyond that. But some people were saying it’s pretty cool. Ask your kids about it.
  • Look out for a dynamite Weird Islanders! today.


Last night’s NHL scores include the Devils beating the Maple Leafs in OT for their eleventh(!!) straight win, opening up a healthy six-point lead atop the Metro Division. Also, the Rangers lost to the Kraken late night in OT, the Capitals furiously came back against the Blues only to lose in the shootout, and the Penguins beat the Wild. And the Hurricanes lost to the Avalanche in OT. With the Islanders picking up 0 points while all their Metro Division foes picked up at least 1, all I can say is: not great. But at 11-7-0, the Islanders are still in good shape.

  • Their underlying numbers have slipped a bit as of late, and no team is good enough to win eleven straight games without a little bit of good fortune, but what the Devils have been doing is, for the most part, sustainable*, with a huge asterisk: *Vitek Vanecek has been above average, and he’s generally an average goalie. Average is still good enough for the Devils, but he has been better than normal. That may come down, and the Devils may suffer for it. But they are quite good. [ESPN]
  • Scott Wedgewood made a save on a breakaway in the Stars’ game against the Florida Panthers and then couldn’t get up. He had to be stretchered off, but I don’t believe he had to go to the hospital. But I hope his back is okay. [NHL]
  • The Vancouver Canucks have killed off only 63.8% of their penalties, which is atrocious and approaches historical markers. [Vancouver Is Awesome]
  • The death of the slap shot: Players have abandoned it, and coaches have stopped teaching it. [The Athletic]