The New York Islanders dropped their second game of the preseason with a 3-1 loss to the New York Rangers. Here are three players that stood out.
If I’m allowed to be a little apologetic, the Islanders did play last night. That game went all the way to overtime thanks to Jimmy Howard‘s one man show: “Brick wall”. A number of Islanders players from that game against Detroit were playing again tonight.
The New York Rangers, on the other hand, last played on Saturday. It’s hard to imagine the Islanders still being fresh enough for back-to-back games as they still try to get up to game day shape.
Unfortunately, they weren’t fresh enough. The New York Islanders just looked a bit behind the pace while the Rangers were as fresh as I felt with my brand new bucket hat on the first day of sixth grade; very fresh.
Unlike sixth-grade me, the Rangers used that freshness. They skated around the Islanders zone almost at will in the second period. The shots might have been tied at eight for both teams, but the Rangers were the better of two. The two goals in the second from Kravstov and Panarin should make that point quite clear.
Mathew Barzal and Jordan Eberle would continue to connect to avoid a shut out before Panarin put in his second with the empty net.
Overall, the Islanders didn’t look great. Finding three players who stood out, in a positive way is going to be tough and require a bit of spinning.
Spin-free zone, Oliver Wahlstrom looked good for the Islanders. He was one of a few players that looked fresh, engaged, and threatening. His five shots on goal in the game lead the Islanders. On another night he might have had a goal to his name.
Wahlstrom also got right into the spirit of the rivalry. In the third, Wahlstrom gave Rangers goalie Alexander Georgiev a snowing after the Russian goalie stopped Wahlstrom’s shot. The Rangers for their part did not appreciate the Islanders prospect turning their backup into a human snowcone and let Wahlstrom know about it.
Good on Wahlstrom for getting into the game emotionally, but not getting out of control.
The Islanders number one defenseman looks ready to start the season. He registered four shots on goal, three hits, and one block with 22:04 minutes of ice time.
He was creating offense and stopping plays on the defensive end of the ice for the Islanders. He’s ready for the 2019-20 season.
Mathew Barzal-Jordan Eberle
Alright, I’m spinning this one by combining two in one. I couldn’t decide which one I wanted to include so I cowarded out and took both.
But truly, it’s great that both are connecting so well in the preseason. They have eleven points between the two of them so far And it’s not like the goal Eberle scored tonight came against some AHL competition. The five Rangers players on the ice were: Artemi Panarin, Jesper Fast, Marc Staal, Brett Howden, and Adam Fox.
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The New York Islanders might just have the old Mathew Barzal and Jordan Eberle in the lineup for the 2019-20 season. Something that could ease the lack of offensive additions comming in during the offseason.