The New York Islanders travelled to the worst team in the NHL and lost. The mission wasn’t difficult, play a full 60 minutes and they should come out on top. And that’s exactly what they didn’t do.
We identified two keys to a win for the New York Islanders, give the Arizona Coyotes some respect and play a full game. And the last one was limit their chances. Under 34 shots a game (the Isles average 34.7 a game) would be great.
The Islanders did the latter, but not the former.
In the first period, the New York Islanders had three shots on goal to Arizona’s 14. Naturally, that meant they went down early as Arizona took a 1-0 through the first period.
Thankfully the Islanders woke up in the second and third period, registering 28 shots combined and forcing over time. But things could have been much worse against a better team than a 1-0 deficit after one with the type of effort they showed.
Anthony Beauvillier: Man on Fire
We also indicated that players like Ross Johnston, Tanner Fritz and Anthony Beauvillier had to have big games to prove to the coaching and management staff that they belonged. And boy did the latter have one against the Coyotes.
With two goals on the game (the only ones scored by the Islanders), Beauvillier put his tally to seven points (six goals, one assist) in six games since being called from Bridgeport. He’s absolutely on fire.
His first was a great solo effort as he comes off the bench. Racing up the wing Beau gets a shot on net but has the mindset to find his rebound and tuck it into the net. All while being backchecked by Coyotes defender Jason Demers.
That first was within seconds of the second period starting up. His second of the night would come within the first three minutes of the third as the Islanders hounded the Coyotes in their own end.
After being knocked to the ice by Demers, the defender left Beauvillier on his own. Bad idea to let a kid high on confidence alone in a high danger area. Beau would make him pay for that seconds later as a buried an Antti Raanta rebound into the open net.
This is new territory for Beauvillier. With these two last goals, he now has 12 on the season. That’s three more goals then he had in his entire rookie season. It sounds surprising, but it shouldn’t be. This is a kid who had 42 goals in his draft year for the Shawinigan Cataractes, and another 40 the year after.
It’s safe to say that Beauvillier has found his identity. Or the one he had all along. Unfortunately, the New York Islanders as a team have yet to find theirs as they drop a point to the Coyotes thanks to a flat first period.