NY Islanders News

New York Islanders News: Isles Fall to Canucks

By Dan Small
Jan 17, 2016; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Vancouver Canucks center Jared McCann (91) attempts to put the puck past New York Islanders goalie Jaroslav Halak (41) during the third period at Barclays Center. Vancouver Canucks won 2-1 in shootout. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 17, 2016; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Vancouver Canucks center Jared McCann (91) attempts to put the puck past New York Islanders goalie Jaroslav Halak (41) during the third period at Barclays Center. Vancouver Canucks won 2-1 in shootout. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports /
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Islanders score late to salvage a point from Ryan Miller and the Canucks

Brutal. Absolutely brutal game for any Islanders fan to watch.  Ryan Miller was on another planet this game.  Despite having 48 shots on goal the Islanders failed to turn any of those shots into goals until a Ryan Strome wrist shot with less than a minute left in the 3rd period.  The Rangers lost to the Capitals and now the Islanders have a slight 1 point edge over the Rangers in the standings.  So stealing a point late in this game takes some of the sting out of this loss, but not all of it.

Things got testy in the 1st period when Mikhail Grabovski got a 5 minute major for boarding and game misconduct when he hit Henrik Sedin from behind.  Sedin would leave the game and not return so both teams would be down a man.  It was a bad hit and I think the game misconduct was warranted but historically, Grabovski is not a dirty player so I don’t think there was any intent to hurt Sedin there.  Regardless of intent, the tensions on both sides escalated this hit and a flurry of penalties would ensue.

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Despite the penalties, neither team could manage to break through on their powerplay chances. The Islanders penalty kill has been a real bright spot this year.  They continued to play well on the penalty kill in this game, but they need to stop taking bad penalties that put them in pk situations.  This was due in large part to the work of both goalies.  Miller made 47 saves on 48 shots and would eventually become the first star of the night.  Jaroslav Halak answered the call as well, making 25 saves on 26 shots.

Miller played excellent, but the Islanders missed some exceptional opportunities to score in this game.  A large portion of these opportunities came on rebounds that Miller could not secure.  That was easily the most frustrating part of watching this game.  Miller was making some great saves and no one was home to capitalize on the rebounds.  At one point in the first period, a shot went off the boards and Miller was slow to track the puck.  Despite having a wide open net and the puck sliding right to his stick, Brian Strait inexplicably turned and skated away from the puck like he was playing hot potato.  Another example of Brian Strait doing his best to increase the blood pressure of Islanders fans everywhere.  I cannot wait for Boychuk and Hamonic to get healthy so I do not have to endure so much Brian Strait.  It is not good for my health.

As bad as this game was, the silver lining is securing a point when it looked like this was going to be a brutal home loss in regulation.  That point was thanks to a Ryan Strome wrist shot with 51 seconds left.  Strome took a bad penalty in this one and didn’t play his best game, but he had some shots on goal and was able to get his 5th goal of the year.  Hopefully seeing the puck hit the back of the net will get him going so he can find his rhythm again.  He has had a down year following a 50 point season last year.

Islanders have a little break here and are off until they play in Ottawa on Friday.  This gives the Islanders some time so they can get a bit healthier.  Adam Pelech didn’t play against the Canucks due to an upper body injury.  Hopefully some guys who have been struggling to score will come back Friday and start heating up (i.e. John Tavares).

Despite the Miller heroics, it is nice to be in 2nd in the Metropolitan and every point is gonna be needed this year.

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