The New York Islanders dropped the game 3-2 to the Calgary Flames. They should have been able to squeak out at least a point, but a third-period collapse cost them any points.
The game was all about, what would the New York Islanders do in the first period. Would we see the same team again? The team that let has gone 5-0 over the last two first periods? Or would we see a committed team willing to play a full 60 right from the opening faceoff?
Against both the Buffalo Sabres and the Detroit Red Wings the Islanders looked as flat can be. Would it be the same against the Flames?
Oh, and Travis Hamonic was back in town after being traded for a first and two second-round picks. Some six months ago Garth Snow made the trade but has since sat on his new picks. So Travis’ return is a little bittersweet. It’s great to see him and say thanks, but it also reminds us that those picks are still there and the team could use the help those picks could return.
A Good First That Quickly Went Away
Through the first period, the Islanders were pretty solid. They held the advantage in shots, and by the end held the advantage on the score sheet with a fantastic diving effort from Casey Cizikas.
The Islanders were up 1-0 after the first period and were looking comfortable. Things were looking up. With 40 minutes to play there was no way to think the Isles would drop this one. (Who am I kidding, we all knew they could). But they looked solid through 20.
They haven’t looked solid in the first for some time. So maybe, just maybe, the coach has been getting through to the players. Maybe the Islanders were turning a corner?
Oh, and before I forget. Ross Johnston let his fists do some talking at the end of the first period. For some reason, the much smaller Ryan Lomberg picked a fight with Johnston…who absolutely made him pay for it. (Lomberg never returned to the game.)
Coming into the second the Isles were up 2-0 quickly with an apple from Mathew Barzal on an Anthony Beauvillier point shot.
Things were looking great for the Isles. And for some reason, it all came undone. The Calgary Flames started the comeback after scoring a second left on a power play during the second period.
For some reason, the New York Islanders decided to protect their single goal lead. A team that hasn’t been able to defend all season decided to trust their defensive prowess to win two points. Obviously, that didn’t work.
With two goals from Matthew Tkachuk, the final coming with a minute and five seconds left on the clock. With less than two minutes the Islanders lost the game. Looks like third-period collapses are back. I thought we left those in 2016-17.
The New York Islanders dropped two points. They could have easily earned at least a point, but for some reason, they decided to play a style of hockey that hasn’t worked for them since day one. Somethings gotta give. (It’s gonna be the playoffs).