New York Islanders News: Brock Nelson Scores Hat Trick in 5-2 Win
Will the real New York Islanders please stand up?
On Tuesday night, at one of lowest parts of their 2015-16 — Travis Hamonic and Johnny Boychuk out, the team falling behind the Rangers again, losing two straight games and, frankly, playing at a level far below their potential — the Islanders put forth one of their most dominant performances of the season. Brock Nelson scored a hat trick and the Isles topped the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-2.
Nelson was the star of the game, but it was a complete effort from the entire team.
They out shot the Blue Jackets 33-20 and controlled 59.5 percent of the score-adjusted shot attempts. Thomas Greiss stopped 18 of 20 shots, Calvin de Haan stepped up in Hamonic’s absence to play over 23 minutes and even Brian Strait scored a goal.
We’ve seen flashes of their potential come and go this season, so it’s difficult to know what to make of the performance, but it would be a good time for them to figure it out. The team has put themselves back into a tie for second place in the division with the Rangers and have a big game against that very team on Thursday night.
Both Ryan Strome and John Tavares also found the score sheet (A goal for Strome and an assist for Tavares) and if the Isles hope to continue their success, they’ll need much more of that.
Despite the dominant results at even-strength and on the scoreboard, the night wasn’t without its flaws. The Islanders were given opportunity after opportunity on the man advantage, with 8 total powerplays in the game, but the only time they were able to score was on the empty-net goal to close out the game.
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But don’t let that bring you down too much, it’s baby steps. The team needs to worry about improving their play at even-strength before their powerplay can help them too much and tonight was a step in the right direction.
Hopefully, the real New York Islanders stood up tonight.
(Stats courtesy of hockeystats.ca)