The New York Islanders extend their streak to 5-0-1 under Doug Weight with a convincing 3-2 win against the Metropolitan leading Washington Capitals.
The New York Islanders continue to make a case that they are back. With another win against a top team in the NHL. This team is turning, “we think we can,” to “we know we can.” Another night brings another win and new takeaways.
Barry Trotz was quoted as saying the Islanders looked like they had gotten some of their swagger back. While there might be some cautious optimism when it comes to the team, games like this give some credence to Trotz’s words.
Two months ago – even one month ago – going into the third tied was a train wreck waiting to happen for the Islanders. It was a leave the arena early, this game is over type deal. Now, there’s more excitement and the team is generating that feeling that they can win every game.
New York Islanders
There is definitely some swagger and this team has sorely needed it. I’m going to give Doug Weight some credit for that.
Leddy Is Pretty Good at Defense
No one wants to see a guy hurt and the consistent loss of Travis Hamonic year after year has been a thorn in the Islanders side.
But it’s pretty strange to say: “not this time”. The Islanders defense has pulled together and given the Islanders some of their strongest games. The play of forwards in both zones absolutely deserves some credit in this.
The difference in Nick Leddy with Hamonic’s absence is palpable. While he continues to put up strong offensive numbers, Leddy just looks more comfortable out there. He doesn’t look like he’s ready to throw in the towel or generally give the puck away at the worst possible moment.
In the first period alone, he made two sensational plays in the defensive zone. First, he turned on the wheels and took out Alex Ovechkin. Then he blocked a pass that may have changed the complexion of the game early on.
Scoring Through Lineup Continues
John Tavares spent a good part of the game fully smothered by the Capitals. The line got their chances and at times, Anders Lee looked beastly, like he was ready to put the game on his shoulders. The line, however, didn’t score and Tavares only grabbed an assist on Johnny Boychuk’s empty net – and eventual game-winning – goal.
Alan Quine continues to pick his spots when it comes to scoring big goals, and Brock Nelson did one thing right on his feed to Ryan Strome. Every line is hustling and clicking and it was clear Jason Chimera really wanted another one against his former team.
Cautious optimism is still the phrase of choice when it comes to the Isles these days, but man, it’s becoming harder and harder not to get excited.