The New York Islanders played a good road game and got a point out of Chicago. On the surface this is a good thing, but still not nearly enough.
Good things actually did happen in Chicago for the New York Islanders.
The return of Travis Hamonic and Adam Pelech‘s reappearance in the lineup saw a much needed tightening of the defense against a skilled Chicago offense. Thomas Greiss turned in a solid, if near perfect performance, and hey, Brock Nelson scored a goal.
The Islanders played an exciting overtime and Josh Ho-Sang made a couple of cases for himself staying in the lineup. Case 1: he’s wicked fast. Case 2: he could do a workshop session for the entire team on how to effectively make a pass.
New York Islanders
The team went into Chicago and got a point so we should be satisfied. At the risk of being a Negative Nancy, here’s why I’m not.
For the past two seasons, the Islanders have held the post season in their hands. They’ve controlled their own destiny and they’ve taken it to the wire because they can’t consistently win big games.
This team – the one Garth Snow didn’t improve at the deadline – needs to be able to finish 1-0 games in Chicago. These are the kind of games that get played in the post-season and good teams – teams that win – win close, grueling games. Making the playoffs is all well and good, but readiness to win them happens in games like this.
This team needs a reliable face-off guy. John Tavares is decent in the circle and the strongest the Isles have. It’s not good enough. Last night’s game wasn’t a matter of a last minute goal, but a must win face-off that wasn’t won.
Finally there’s the disgrace of a power play. It’s truly incredible that a team that’s more than consistently competitive five on five can be so atrociously bad when up a man. This power play has been a travesty for the majority of the season. It was especially bad in Dallas and let them down in Chicago when a timely goal could have been insurance to secure the two points they needed.
The Islanders got a point out of Chicago but played a game they should have, but simply can’t win, and that’s the biggest takeaway.