The 2016-17 season is only 13 games old for the New York Islanders and they’ve already been handed an existential defining loss. It was at the hands of the Tampa Bay Lightning who the Isles face tonight. Is redemption on their minds?
When the New York Islanders lost 6-1 to the Tampa Bay Lightning many thought that such a lopsided loss along with the Isles 4-6-0 record would be enough to send the wheels of change into motion.
Maybe the GM who’s been there for ten years and/or the coach who’s been there for six years would be told to find employment elsewhere. But here we are nine days and a 1-0-2 record later and both Snow and Capuano are still employed.
The unofficial message from ownership is that the two would be given the opportunity to right the ship, and steer this team to the playoffs.
Since then, the Isles have made some curious decisions. First, 19-year-old Mathew Barzal was sent back to his WHL team in Seattle for what is likely the remainder of the year. The same 19-year-old that was included in the Isles season-opening active roster in favor of veteran PA Parenteau.
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Barzal never got much of a tryout. Playing just two games before being restricted to the pressbox until being released by the team.
The other 19-year-old rookie on the roster, Anthony Beauvillier, has fared better, playing ten games, meaning his contract won’t slide for another year. And then he too was put in the pressbox.
Favouring Alan Quine over Beauvillier, who has five points to Quine’s two. So it’s not as though Quine’s producing more than his younger teammate.
We’ll see if these decisions add up tonight. The Isles need to show that that 6-1 drubbing was a fluke. It’s unfortunate that it’s come this early, but tonight’s game is a statement game.
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New York Islanders Lineup Tonight:
Lee-Nelson-Chimera de Haan-Seidenberg
Ladd-Cizikas-Kulemin Halak (Greiss)
Tampa Bay Lightning Lineup Tonight:
Boyle-Paquette-Brown Bishop (Vasilevskiy)
Jonathan Drouin is still out from the de Haan hit the last time these two teams met. Expect a little retribution for that to start the game. So long as the Isles stay out of the penalty box this time, they should be able to make this game at least competitive, maybe leave with all two points.