The New York Islanders are down 2-0 in the Eastern Conference Final, it’s time they make a change to their defensive core.
Last night, Islanders fans were frustrated with both Jodan Eberle and Devon Toews, and rightfully so they were brutal in the devastating 2-1 loss. While Eberle for some reason has elected not to shoot, I want to focus on Toews who the Islanders have a legit replacement for.
I am very much a believer in you win as a team and lose as a team but it’s very difficult for me not to point the finger directly at Devon Toews last night.
First, after the Isles jumped out to a much needed 1-0 lead, Devon Toews took a brutally bad icing that directly correlated to a Victor Hedman goal off the faceoff.
Now, there was some controversy whether Kevin Shattenkirk touched the puck or not but I’m not even worried about that at this point. The goal doesn’t happen if Toews takes two more strides. Period. End of story.
Then, in a tied up game with under 2:00 to go in regulation, Toews elected to pass instead of taking a wide-open shot. I understand he’s a defenseman, but when you’re given a ton of room you take that shot.
Anders Lee made a nice play to get Toews the puck and he ended up tossing it back to Mat Barzal but Barzy wasn’t expecting it and the puck got knocked away. Here’s a screengrab of what Toews was looking at when receiving the puck:
How is this possible? In what world is tossing it to Barzal the right idea here? Devon Toews isn’t a stay at home defenseman or a fourth-line plug who scores a goal once every half-decade, he is an offensive d-man who netted six goals this year.
With Johnny Boychuk healthy, I think it’s time Devon Toews grabs some pine for at least a game. The Islanders are desperate.
They can reunite Leddy – Boychuk, keep Pelech – Pulock the same, and the third pair could be Greene – Mayfield. Right now I don’t trust Toews, and it’s not like he’s adding anything on the power play. The team registered just five shots in a five-minute major situation.
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Roll with the vets, play Islanders hockey and get back in this series before it’s too late.