The New York Islanders lost on Monday night with a depressing 6-2 effort against the crosstown rival Rangers. Here are three takeaways from the defeat.
The New York Islanders came out at MSG on Monday night looking for a win in their first game this season against the New York Rangers. But Monday’s game was New York Sour for the Isles, who lost 6-2 in an ugly display in Manhattan.
1. The Offense was Utterly Muted for Long Stretches
The Islanders have put a lot of ugly efforts in on offense this season. Some have gone well, others have not been so efficient. But Monday’s loss was ugly, and an exhibition of what has made the Islanders so ineffective on offense this season.
Brock Nelson was all but muted at 5v5 in the Rangers’ end of the rink. He was constantly surrounded, harassed, and utterly neutralized by the Rangers. Key players for the Islanders were kept in check by the Rangers, who have suffered this season from their inability to defend opponents.
Meanwhile, the Islanders who did have space were taking shots from low-danger areas, and when they generated rebounds no one was able to recover them. It was undeniably one of the worse performances this season.
2. Semyon Varlamov Looked Uncomfortable?
Varlamov allowed a couple “uncomfortable” looking goals in the second and third period. Adam Fox beat the Russian goalie between his glove and pad with a shot nearly from the corner half-way through the second period. Later, Artemi Panarin scored on a breakaway in which he dragged the puck to his backhand and beat Varly.
We’ve seen the Fox goal more than once this season against Varlamov. The Panarin goal looked like a sure stop, but somehow the puck found it’s way behind Varlamov. It looked like Panarin only had one place to go on this shot, as Scott Mayfield closed off Panarin’s forehand side. Yet, Panarin still found the net. That one was frustrating to watch.
3. The Team Quit in the Third Period
In spite of a late third-period goal on the power play, the Islanders looked utterly effortless in the third. It looked like they quit, and it wouldn’t be the first time they’ve done that this season.
In mid-December we watched the Islanders quit on a game late against the Nashville Predators. The final score there was 8-3, the worst loss we’ve seen this season. I really can’t say the Islanders didn’t do the same here, as unfortunate as that is. There was an unbelievable lack of urgency late.
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I will say, I believe the Islanders will come out with a very strong performance tonight vs. Detroit at the Coliseum. But that is little consolation, especially with the disturbing recent trend of playing down to their opponents.