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New York Islanders Win Over Rangers Feels Like A Turning Point

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NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 19: Mats Zuccarello
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 19: Mats Zuccarello
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In yesterday’s blowout win over the Rangers, the New York Islanders looked sharp and focused throughout the game. This is an aspect of the Islanders that has rarely been seen over the past six weeks. And it couldn’t have come at a better time.

The New York Islanders beat the brakes off of the New York Rangers at The Garden yesterday, 7-2. From the top line down to the rookies, the Islanders played magnificently. By never taking their foot off of the gas pedal, the Isles may have pushed this team into its fifth gear.

If the Islanders can show this type of inspired play on a regular basis, when it comes to this team’s potential, the sky is the limit. If the Isles can add a playmaker or two via trade, we could be looking at a bonafide Stanley Cup contender.

Even in the absence of

Josh Bailey

and

Andrew Ladd

, the Islanders showed no signs of missing two of their most important pieces.

Michael Dal Colle

looked up to the task in his NHL debut, performing capably on the third and fourth lines, as well as on the second power-play unit.

A solid team effort

In yesterday’s thrashing of the Blueshirts, we saw excellent play from virtually every area of a New York Islanders squad desperate to build off of a win over the Devils in their final game before their “bye week”. Jaroslav Halak was solid, looking at times like the Jaro we once knew. Also impressive was the play of the oft-maligned Islanders defensive corps.

Mathew Barzal‘s second five-point performance of the season put him back ahead of Brock Boeser for the NHL rookie point lead. Anthony Beauvillier provided further proof to Doug Weight that he belongs up here with the big club, not down in Bridgeport. Playing alongside Jordan Eberle and Barzal, Beau looked like the future all-star he’s been advertised as.

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Brock Nelson even joined in on the fun. He didn’t put one in the net but his improved overall play signified, to me at least, that he’s been putting in a ton of work in an effort to get his game back on track. If only in a small sample size, it seems as if that work is beginning to pay off.

Although Nelson only had one shot on goal, he played well defensively and looked comfortable on the ice, which is a change from the Brock Nelson we’ve seen all season. Also, there were no “what the hell is he doing??” moments, which is always a plus. Baby steps, Brock. We’ll get there.

Let’s keep it going, boys

The New York Islanders have now won two games in a row and are desperately trying to put the tough times they experienced in December behind them. For the Isles to really turn this thing around and get back in the playoff picture, they’ll need to continue to play like they’ve been playing.

More from Eyes On Isles

Since the beginning of the third period last Sunday against New Jersey, the Islanders have looked like anything but a team that’s been ravaged by injuries and handicapped by poor play. Wherever this sudden burst of confidence came from, there’s no doubting it came at just the right time.

With two games at home this week, the New York Islanders hope to continue their winning ways and gain some ground in the Metro Divison, as well as the Eastern Conference wild-card standings.

The Isles host the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday in what should be an entertaining matchup. The Devils are still reeling after their loss to the Flyers yesterday. Their lead-blowing, shootout loss to the New York Islanders last Sunday is most definitely still fresh in their minds so expect some fireworks.

Next: Islanders Primed For Huge Second Half

The Islanders then have a chance at some payback on Thursday, welcoming in a Boston Bruins team that embarrassed them the last time they met. Hopefully, the confidence regained in their big win over the Rags can propel the New York Islanders into a hot streak and up the Metro standings.

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