The New York Islanders dropped last night’s game to the Boston Bruins. Ilya Sorokin got the start, his first one on the road this season. Lane Lambert also healthy scratched Pierre Engvall, whose turnover led directly to the Minnesota Wild’s dagger fourth goal on Tuesday night.
The Islanders tied the game at 1-1 on a power play goal that Brock Nelson smacked out of the air. Despite entering the third period behind, they tied the game again at 2-2 on another shorthanded goal for Simon Holmstrom, who combined again with J-G Pageau on an odd-man rush.
But the Bruins quickly re-took the lead on that same third-period power play and tacked on two more goals for a 5-2 victory. Charlie Coyle completed his first career hat trick with an empty-net goal.
I get the reasoning behind Lambert scratching Engvall. Accountability is a good thing—Al Arbour famously scratched Denis Potvin. It sends a shockwave through the room and passes along the message that you, too, can be scratched. And as Dan pointed out on Twitter, it was unlikely the Islanders were going to leave TD Garden with a win no matter who was in the lineup.
But I gotta say that I think it is a questionable decision, to say the least, to scratch a player from your best and most consistent line. I just hope that it was a one-game punishment and not a decision to “ice the best lineup” because if that’s the logic, it’s not logical. Lambert’s explanation at least indicates it’s the former.
Lambert will not disclose why Engvall was a healthy scratch, only that he had a conversation with Engvall and will keep that private.— Andrew Gross (@AGrossNewsday) November 10, 2023
The Islanders, now 1-2-2 in their last five contests, return home tomorrow for one game against the Washington Capitals before shipping off to the Northwest. Let’s all hope it’s a nice regulation win.
About last night:
- It was yet another third period in which the Islanders were outscored. [Newsday]
- Leave it to the Post to choose a dramatic headline, saying the Islanders are “reeling.” [NY Post]
- Couldn’t make a third comeback. [3 Takeaways]
- Engvall being a scratch was a surprise. [Newsday]
- Bo Horvat returned to the lineup, but Adam Pelech was out again after being back in on Tuesday. [Isles DTD]
- The worst part is that they have been wasting some decent starts in these games, at least on the scoreboard: They’ve allowed only five first-period goals, the fewest in the league. [NYISkinny]
- In front of the moms, too! Although choosing Boston for the Moms Trip probably wasn’t the best idea. [THN]
- It wasn’t a problem last night because they never took the lead, but they need to get back to their Trotzian ways when they get their next one. [The Athletic]
- Pageau, who recorded his fifth assist last night but has scored no goals, is hoping the offense starts coming soon. [Newsday] He’s been getting “back to basics.” [NY Post]
- Lambert also tried to get back to basics with defensive drills on Wednesday. [Newsday]
- Oliver Wahlstrom scored his first goal in 333 days on Tuesday and played a decent game last night next to Horvat and Mat Barzal. He’s hoping to find more balance in his game. [amNY]
- The B-Isles are 3-5-1-0 after a 1-1 weekend. [Bridgeport Report]
Last night’s NHL scores include another unfortunate win for the New York Rangers, this one over the Minnesota Wild, and road OT victories for the Montreal Canadiens (over the Detroit Red Wings) and the Pittsburgh Penguins (over the Los Angeles Kings).
- Also, perhaps we shouldn’t be throwing stones from our three-game-losing-streak glass house. But the darling Stanley Cup pick Edmonton Oilers hilariously lost in regulation to potentially the worst team in NHL history, the 2023-24 San Jose Sharks. [NHL]
- The loss drops the Oilers to a staggering 2-9-1 through 12 games. That’s good for only five points on November 10, which is tied for last in the NHL with the team that just beat them. They’re already 14 points back of third place in the Pacific Division. Coach Jay Woodcroft feels like a dead man walking. [Sportsnet]
- If Edmonton is going to turn it around this season—and they do have the ability to reel off eight or ten straight wins—they need better goaltending and depth scoring. [NHL]
- The Toronto Maple Leafs aren’t in quite the same tailspin as the Oilers, but they have been struggling too, particularly with keeping the puck out of their net. [NHL]
- Of course, the Rangers won that game 4-1 in front of Louis Domingue because Igor Shesterkin remains out and Jonathan Quick joined him. Tristan Jarry is day-to-day for Pittsburgh, too. [NHL]
- The Colorado Avalanche’s Artturi Lehkonen was taken to the hospital after crashing head-first into the boards. He is alert and responsive and has full mobility, at least. [ESPN]
- After Adam Johnson’s tragic death, how is the NHL approaching safety? [ESPN]