Editorials

New York Islanders Top 10 Goals of 2015-16: Number 10

By Matthew Collins
Dec 21, 2015; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders center Brock Nelson (29) shoots as Anaheim Ducks defenseman Cam Fowler (4) reaches during the second period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 21, 2015; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders center Brock Nelson (29) shoots as Anaheim Ducks defenseman Cam Fowler (4) reaches during the second period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Eyes on Isles staff got together to reflect on the New York Islanders season and compiled the  top 10 goals of the year. Each of these goals were important for some reason, we’ll rank them and tell you why.

Brock Nelson‘s goal that helped end the New York Islanders’ three-game skid was more than just any goal. It revitalized the Islanders play, and turned their misfortune into a mere memory in route to the Islanders’ first win in three games.

Every goal an NHL player scores in their career is an important one. Whether it be in juniors or the pros, in the first period or in overtime, the first of the season or the 20th, or even the first goal you scored as a Mite.

When many people look back at last season, few will peg Brock Nelson’s goal as a momentum shifting and vital stepping stone for the Isles. In reality, this goal may be one of the most important goals from last season, as it terminated a three-game losing funk the Islanders were stuck in.

Did the streak occur in December? Yes. Is there still plenty of time to earn points back? Absolutely.

But for any team competing for a playoff spot, slip-ups are unacceptable. Any time a playoff contender experiences a lack of success for long stretches, it can lead to a team’s postseason hopes diminishing before their very eyes. It can preoccupy a team with an everlasting impression that they “can’t” and “won’t” win, leaving the franchise feeling hopeless to change their misfortunes and eventually lead them to their doom.

Enter Brock Nelson’s goal, one that shook the Islanders from a dangerous chain to pursue a much-needed victory.

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  • Following a horrendous 15 minutes in the first period against the Ducks, Cal Clutterbuck scored a well deserved and gritty goal. Just one minute later Travis Hamonic buried a goal aided by the screen of (you guessed it) Brock Nelson.

    With the Islanders now in the lead 2-1, there was still plenty of time for New York to lose the lead during the dying seconds of the period, perhaps losing the energy they had gained.

    But, with just 16.3 seconds remaining in the period Brock Nelson was fed a beautiful no-look pass from John Tavares and buried the shot, shifting the momentum of the game in the Islanders’ favor.

    Brock Nelson’s goal was a seemingly basic shot at a basic time to score, but at the same time was more important than many people realized. It and took away any potential momentum the Ducks could have gained going into the second period, thus helping to secure victory in a 5-2 game.

    He earned a game-winning goal for his effort and was even rewarded the third star of the game

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    This goal helped secure the lead (and game) to end one of the longest losing streaks of the season for the Islanders, which rekindled their energy and hope. A three-game losing streak isn’t normally too bad for a club going down the stretch, things like this usually happen. But for a team in the thick of the hunt for a wild card spot, those lost numbers add up.

    This goal got the monkey off the back of the Isles. It lessened their weight, put them back on the track to success and secured needed points in the process.

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