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Islanders News: No points but an encouraging effort

If the Isles play like that consistently, they will win a lot of hockey games.

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Vegas Golden Knights v New York Islanders
So close to tying it late.
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Given where they are in the standings and how many games are left in the season, the New York Islanders need to earn points, which they did not last night against the Vegas Golden Knights. But man, they looked good. Like, really good, and against a good if battered team.

Patrick Roy is 1-1-0 as Islanders Head Coach, now saddled with his first loss, but he has already made great strides in turning around the defense. You can see it: They’re gapping up way better than they were before. They’re harder on pucks, and they’re breaking out of the zone more quickly and more cleanly. As Jenny wrote last night, there’s a renewed energy.

Perhaps it’s just the new coach dead-cat bounce, but the Islanders needed it. And maybe it’s more than that: just better structure and more focus on keeping the play in front of them rather than letting it come to them. I’m encouraged. If they consistently play like that, they will win more often than not.

Islanders News

About last night:
  • Brock Nelson looked excellent, and his 21st goal of the season was his 500th career point. [LHH]
  • J-G Pageau added a shorthanded goal. [THN]
  • The guys already appear to have bought into Roy’s message. [3 Takeaways]
  • Roy was certainly encouraged with what he saw, and the players felt good about their game. [Newsday]
  • They just need to cut down on the turnovers, two of which were egregious and led directly to goals against. [NY Post]
  • They put up a season-high 43 shots on goal. [NYI Skinny]
  • It was Pride Night, and they had a specially designed shirt for it. [Islanders]
Onward:
  • Semyon Varlamov came off IR and backed up Ilya Sorokin; Varly will likely start tomorrow in Montreal. Ken Appleby is back in Bridgeport. [Isles DTD]
  • Varlamov played for Roy in Colorado and is thrilled to do it again. [Newsday]
  • Mathew Barzal is already a big fan of working with Roy. [amNY] Roy doesn’t tolerate the “laziness” that Barzal had slipped into their game. [THN]
  • For Cal Clutterbuck, it’s a chance to play for his childhood idol. [amNY]
  • There hasn’t been time for a full practice, so the Islanders are learning on the fly. [Newsday]
  • But they did have a video session on Monday, and it clearly paid dividends as Roy tries to transform the defense. [The Athletic]
  • There was a report from Quebecois RDS that the Isles hired Benoit Desrosiers out of the QMJHL as an assistant coach, but the team shot that down. [NY Post]
  • Danny Nelson and Isaiah George are doing well. [Prospect Report]

Elsewhere

Last night’s NHL scores include almost entirely good results for the Islanders in the standings: The Flyers, Red Wings, and Capitals all lost in regulation, although the team that beat Philly was the Lightning. Also, the rested Rangers blew a 2-0 third-period lead and lost in OT to the Sharks, who played the night before. Beautiful.

  • New Jersey Devils GM and old friend Tom Fitzgerald signed a multi-year extension and added the title of President. [NHL]
  • The Vancouver Canucks have earned the right to go all-in this season at the trade deadline. [Sportsnet]
  • Ryan Reaves told the media he’s healthy even though he’s on IR, yet another chapter in this comedy of errors. Heh. [TLN]
  • After Dillon Dube took a leave of absence from the Flames, Carter Hart was granted one from the Flyers. Might just be a coincidence, but the two of them were on the 2018 Canadian World Juniors team, and people are speculating whether that means the long-awaited report is coming (and the level of their involvement). [NHL]