The New York Islanders Can Hang
Call it an off day. Blame it on the backup AHL goalie between the pipes. Say whatever you will to justify the loss for the Toronto Maple Leafs Toronto fans (and I know you will). The result was a win by the Islanders and not a loss by the Maple Leafs.
Where the Leafs “off” on the night? Maybe, but the Isles still needed to execute to win. Was the loss due to Garret Sparks between the pipes? Not at all. Sparks was perhaps the Leafs best player on the ice. The score could have easily been 6-0 if not for Sparks.
The win proves that the New York Islanders can hang with the big clubs in the NHL.
The Islanders held the second best team in the league in terms of points (54) and in terms of goals for (144) to zero goals and a big fat ‘L’. When playing the way that Barry Trotz wants them to play the New York Islanders are a force on the ice.
It by no means indicates that the Islanders are a better team than the Maple Leafs. What it states is that the Islanders place in the standings is justified.
The fact that after the 4-0 win they are a single point back of the Montreal Canadiens for the last wildcard spot in the East and two points off the Pittsburgh Penguins for the last seeded spot in the Metro is justified. They deserve to be in that position.
With still over a half-season to go and the New York Islanders starting to string together some wins (six from a possible seven), it will be interesting to see how far they can take this.