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Islanders News: Where’s the defense?

For the third straight game, the Islanders played without the structure they need to be successful.

Colorado Avalanche v New York Islanders
Where it all began to unravel.
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Who says the Islanders are boring?

A back-and-forth contest between the still-undefeated Colorado Avalanche and the New York Islanders ended up bringing our favorite team zero points. A frustrating loss, made frustrating by the way it all unfolded.

The Isles’ defense was lacking, to say the least, and that has been the case for the last three games. Adam Pelech, on the ice for all five non-empty-net Colorado goals and contributing mightily to at least two of them, had arguably one of the worst games of his career, or at least in the time since he was blessed with the teachings of Barry Trotz.

Also lacking was their attention to detail: They went from leading 3-2 with 43 seconds left in the middle frame to trailing 4-3 with 27 seconds left in the same period, a period they otherwise dominated.

Much like last year, they lost momentum because of a dreadful power play—a stark contrast to how their power play looked earlier that period even—and then they just stopped playing. You can’t do that against the Avs. They’ll make you pay, and they did. It’s a shame because they hung with Colorado to some degree after a terrible first period; it was a winnable game thrown away by unforced errors against a team that is extremely good at capitalizing on them.

It’s still early, but given how easy it is to be effectively out of playoff contention when November starts, the Isles have to hold off, or at least take points from, the upstart Ottawa Senators on Thursday or their postseason hopes could start getting precarious.

Islanders News

About last night:
  • Something to be said for the Islanders going goal for goal with the New Jersey Devils and now the Avalanche, as well. [LHH] They entered the night searching for more offense on the whole. [Newsday]
  • However, it’s not a good sign that the Islanders are 0-1-1 in games where they scored more than three goals. They can’t sacrifice defense for offense. [Newsday]
  • The Avs’ road win set a record for consecutive road wins dating back to last regular season. [NHL]
  • Oliver Wahlstrom started the night on the third line, but he was quickly swapped with Cal Clutterbuck, who had a goal and an assist playing next to J-G Pageau and Simon Holmstrom. [Newsday]
  • It was the second straight game Ilya Sorokin gave up five goals, the first time in his career that has happened. Not great, but without him, both games probably would have been even worse. [NYI Skinny]
Onward and, hopefully, upward:
  • Lane Lambert will probably continue to tweak the lines.
  • The Islanders played the Avalanche, which contractually requires even the local hockey media to bring up the Devon Toews trade. [Newsday]
  • Zach Parise left a lasting impact on the Islanders. [HNINY]
  • In his Islanders Award Winners series, Dan tackles the first part of Mike Bossy’s Calder Trophy-winning season in 1977-78. [LHH]
  • The B-Isles earned three out of four points over the weekend, and Matt Maggio has his first two professional goals. [Bridgeport Report]

Elsewhere

You may have heard since it was shoved down our throats for the last two weeks, but all 32 teams played last night. Honestly, it was a cool idea—watching football is so much better with NFL RedZone—but it already had a strike against it by allowing John Buccigross to host it, never mind that it went up against NLCS Game 7 and NBA Opening Night. Of relevance, the Penguins lost again, and the Sabres-Senators game ended in regulation; Buffalo won it.

  • Unsurprisingly, Gary Bettman affirmed the suspension given to Rasmus Andersson by his employees. [Sportsnet]
  • Speaking of unforced errors, the NHL officially unbanned “social cause” stick tape, ending a dumb rule no one wanted, save for a few loud cretins. Travis Dermott shoved it up their ass. [NHL]