To quote Butch Goring, the New York Islanders are saying, “not so fast, we’re back,” with another big win, this one over the Montreal Canadiens.
The New York Islanders worked their tails off for a huge victory against the Montreal Canadiens Thursday night. With Andrew Ladd heading the goal scoring and the team packing on the offensive pressure, things are looking up.
A Little Rest to Ladd’s Rescue
Eyes On Isles own Farrell Hirsch picked up on a blip in the Los Angeles feed of the Kings/Isles game last weekend. The blip revealed that Ladd suffered a back injury in training camp and had been dealing with it all season.
If this is indeed true, then a whole lot makes sense when it comes to Ladd’s play to for the first half of this season.
Ladd scored two sweet goals against Carey Price, one of which turned out to be the game winner. And yes, the goals were huge, but Ladd probably skated his best through three here. He was on the puck, no the body, and hey, he didn’t take any penalties.
Price Is Kinda Good, Eh?
Before the third period even started, Price made 29 saves. He finished the game with 39. The Islanders peppered the Canadiens goalie with shots, from everywhere, including high danger areas. There can be no argument to stating that Price showed why he’s considered one of the best.
The Isles first line was relentless and at one point during the game had more shots on Price than the entire Canadiens team has on Thomas Greiss, who did what he needed to do.
It was a nerve-wracking two and a half periods with Price standing on his head that way, but the Isles were able to bury it.
If there’s one question to take from this, it’s this:
Pressure Pressure Pressure
The Islanders didn’t start this game slow. There was no adjustment period and they didn’t have to find their legs at any point. They looked like a confident, capable, and centered hockey team. They finally stuck to Doug Weight’s early game plan to play more in the offensive zone. This game held the most sustained pressure the team has exhibited all season.
Montreal is a strong team, one of the best in the entire NHL. The Islanders just kept coming and spent the better part of the game making them look like a one-trick pony named Price.
The Islanders came into, and played, this game like they needed it. And they did. They do. Maybe this is coaching, maybe they got the wakeup call they needed. Whatever it was, they have to come to play like this every night.