Dropping a game 4-1 to the Florida Panthers, the New York Islanders lose a chance to keep the momentum going they’d built on a good road trip.
The New York Islanders dropped their return from 2018 NHL All-Star break 4-1 to the Florida Panthers. And the main culprit for the Islanders, not giving it a full effort.
The Panthers plan for the night: clog up the front of the net, limit shots, keep the Islanders to the outside, capitalize on our opportunities. And that’s exactly what happened. Aside from a Pelech goal, the Panthers strategy was flawless.
Its almost as if Jack Capuano knew exactly what his successor Doug Weight was going to do and parried it perfectly.
Little To No Offense
The first period was much of the same as the isles just couldn’t generate any offense whatsoever. Leave it to the New York Islanders to make a third-string goalie look outstanding.
Oh yeah. The Panthers were playing the backup’s backup in Harri Sateri as both Roberto Luongo and James Reimer are out with lower-body injury.
Throughout the night the only flash of offense came from Mathew Barzal. The Islanders rookie was once again all over the ice trying to create things for the Isles.
Sure the Islanders spent a tone of time in the offensive zone, but the Panthers game plan limited those chances.
I worry about the coaching in situations like these. Where you know what the other team is going to do. With a third-string goalie, they aren’t going to play a run-and-gun offense. They’re going to play tight an conservative. When does the tactic change when the team is down 2-0 with plenty of hockey to go?
The Only Goal
Thankfully, Adam Pelech put up a nice goal to give the Islanders some semblance of life. After he put it in the blue and orange had a noticeable bounce in their step.
At 3-0 the Islanders pulled Jaroslav Halak with three minutes and change remaining. But the isles just couldn’t establish good offensive pressure and the Panthers inevitably scored a fourth on the empty net. Making it 4-1, and ending the night on a sour note.
After a good road trip, the momentum was with the Islanders. They were coming back to a building they’d been so good in for most of the season against a team inferior to them at least in the standings. And they laid a stinker.
The loss deflates the momentum the Isles had built on the road. Hopefully, they can regain some of that on the road as they enter the John Tavares free-agency circus that’s going to be Toronto.