It has been a long time since the New York Islanders played that well against a playoff team and kept up that effort for the full sixty minutes. Last night, they beat a Boston Bruins team sans Brad Marchand but welcoming back Patrice Bergeron.
The Islanders most certainly earned their two points from that game, as well as the four-point ground gain by defeating Boston in regulation.
This all likely will not matter in the long run; the deficit is just too steep. But on the off chance that the Isles do string together 20 wins in a row and pull themselves back into the hunt for real, then we will look back on this game and appreciate its importance—not that we don’t appreciate it now, but that it’s a lot more fun if it means something.
About last night:
- That’s one way to keep playoff hopes alive one month away from the trade deadline. [LHH]
- It was nice to see such a strong effort from these guys. We all said that the team we saw last night was the one we’ve seen the last three seasons and the one we expected to see this season. [Newsday]
- The Islanders managed to win despite conceding the first goal. Also, Noah Dobson continues to rack up points, and Kieffer Bellows played well in place of injured Josh Bailey. [3 Takeaways]
- The two aforementioned young guns hit the scoresheet (Dobson with a goal and an assist, Bellows with an assist). J-G Pageau and Mathew Barzal recorded the other real goals, while Brock Nelson added the empty-netter. [Rapid Recap]
- The win snapped a three-game losing streak. [NHL]
“I thought in the second and third we played to that level and got the result we needed. We got a big power-play goal, a big penalty kill and I think our 5-on-5 play was strong.”— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) February 18, 2022
Trotz ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/n0dR6X59aC
Some other stuff:
- Barry Trotz had mentioned before the game that last night might have been Bellows’ chance to prove he’s a full-timer. He followed through in a big way. [Newsday]
- Entering the game, the Islanders were searching for answers to their team-wide season-long malaise. Just do exactly what you did last night, fellas. [Newsday]
- Down on the farm, the B-Isles returned from a six-day break with a 1-1-1 record over three games. [Bridgeport Report]
- Today is now officially Clark Gillies Day in Nassau County. [NY Post]
Last night’s NHL scores include the Rangers losing the gimmick to the Red Wings and the Capitals topping the Flyers.
- Dom Luszczyszyn is back with 16 Stats, including what makes the Colorado Avalanche so dominant and why teams should think twice before ponying up a first-round pick for Ben Chiarot. [The Athletic]
- Montreal Canadiens Executive Vice President Jeff Gorton, in his too-tightly-fitting suits, faces a mountainous task in modernizing this franchise. [Sportsnet]
- Part of that, I guess, is hiring as many French Canadian former Tampa Bay Lightning as possible. Vincent Lecavalier, a newly appointed special adviser to hockey operations, joins his buddy Martin St. Louis. [NHL]
- Neil Best endeavors to determine the best team each NHL franchise has ever assembled. In his opinion (and that of many pundits), the 1981-82 Islanders do not compare to any other iteration of the Isles, including the other dynasty seasons. [Newsday]