The mojo was off from the start in the New York Islanders second game of the season. During warmups, Semyon Varlamov took a puck to the throat/neck and left the ice which forced Ilya Sorokin to get his NHL debut earlier than anticipated.
If you believe in bad omens then you knew the game would be a bad one for the Islanders after Varlamov’s injury. And if you didn’t believe in bad omens then you certainly do now.
It was some real freaky-Friday type situation for the Islanders who looked as bad as the Rangers did just two days prior.
Islanders Bad From the Start
Things didn’t go well right away for the Islanders and for Sorokin. Just two minutes into the opening frame Dobson fumbled the puck while under pressure from Mika Zibanejad which resulted in a goal that Sorokin would probably want back.
Then just over halfway through the first period, Brendan Smith breakups a Mayfield slot pass and immediately spots Artemi Panarin streaking through the neutral zone which eventually leads to a breakaway and goal. 2-0 for the hosts.
Making things worse, Ryan Pulock took a puck to the ear and he left the ice with blood dripping from behind his left ear. He’d return but he missed some ice time which is never a good thing for the Isles.
The second didn’t start much better for the Isles. At least Pulock was back on the ice, but Mathew Barzal took two offensive penalties two-minutes and twenty-one seconds apart. Something that had Barry Trotz visibly upset on the bench.
The Islanders, who had everything going for them in the first outing of the season didn’t have the same luck in this one. They couldn’t catch a bounce, or get a bounce, and even found themselves tripping over the officials.
At 5:57 of the second Scott Mayfield, much like Noah Dobson earlier in the contest, fumbles the puck and then gets tied up with the linemate leaving Pavel Buchnevich all alone on Sorokin. The rookie NHL goalie basically exposed the entire left side of the net for Buchnevich who made probably scored the easiest goal of this career with a goalie in the net.
This is no time to panic with Sorokin. Sure, both of Buchnevich’s goals were weak ones. Sorokin should have had both. It’s not a good look for someone who had so much expected of him. But he will improve and he will improve quickly.
And look, it didn’t get easier as Kappo Kakko dumps a cross-slot one-timer into the net after a Noah Dobson turnover at the defensive blueline and then Artemi Panarin pops one on the power play late in the third period to round up the score to 5-0.
The Islanders deserved this loss. There was no effort, no push, they made a ton of mistakes, and took far too many penalties. Just about everything that could have gone wrong did. Burn the tape on this one because nothing went well (a 1/8 PK wasn’t terrible I suppose) for the Islanders in their second game in three nights.
Artemi Panarin: 2G, 3SOG,
Pavel Buchnevich: 2G (1GWG), 1A, 4SOG
Kappo Kakko: 1G, 2SOG
Noah Dobson: -2, at least 2 turnovers
Ilya Sorokin: 5GA, 0.844SV%
Ross Johnston: -2, 16 PIM