It’s hard to win a hockey game when the New York Islanders only show up for 20% of it.
The Philadelphia Flyers had some things to atone for after losing 9-0 to the New York Rangers the night before. You knew that. I knew it. The season-ticket holders in attendance at the Nassau Coliseum knew that. And the New York Islanders certainly knew it too. But for some reason didn’t show up until halfway into the third period.
That’s just not how to win a hockey game.
New York Islanders comeback falls short
The Islanders looked like the team who played the previous night. They were leggy and lethargic for two-thirds of the game. Through 40 minutes the Islanders underlying numbers paint a clear picture of their effort:
- Corsi-for: 33%
- Shots-for: 35%
- Scoring chances-for: 30%
- High-danger chances-for: 0% (Flyers had 7 to the Isles 0)
- Expected goals-for: 28%
(All stats at 5on5 and from NaturalStatTrick.)
Of course, with that type of game through 40, the Flyers were able to pump three goals past Semyon Varlamov, neither of the three goals scored against him were his fault.
And then nearly eight minutes in the third period something unfortunately rare happened, Michale Dal Colle scored a goal.
It’s been well over a full calendar year since Dal Colle last scored (February 6th, 2020). He’s played well enough this year to deserve a goal or two, so it’s nice to see him get his first of the year. Hopefully, there is more to come from this.
Six minutes later yet another rare occurrence happened, Sebastian Aho scored a goal! And a nice one to boot.
Aho hasn’t scored an NHL goal since January 7, 2018. That was his third NHL game. Three years ago!
The comeback was on and the Coliseum was rocking with the hope that at least one point could be salvaged from this game. Thirty seconds later that hope was repaid with Oliver Wahlstrom firing in this wobbly puck from a pretty heads-up play by Nick Leddy.
All of that build-up to come back and tie it 3-3. Remember those dismal advanced analytics from the first two frames? Well, the Isles flipped it in the third.
- Corsi-for: 56%
- Shots-for: 41%
- Scoring chances-for: 60%
- High-danger chances-for: 71%
- Expected goals-for: 52%
It was a total turnaround. The Islanders deserved to be back in the game and deserved at least a point. But two back-to-back mistakes from Scott Mayfield, with a bad icing and then losing his man on the ensuing play from the faceoff cost the Islanders the game.
Oskar Lindblom (2G, 3SOG): Big game for Oskar Lindblom after being rested the day prior.
Claude Giroux (1G, 1A, 4SOG): Captain Claude carried his team today.
Nick Leddy (3A, 1 SOG): More points from Nick Leddy who has 21 points in 31 games. He had 21 in twice as many games last year.
Scott Mayfield: He wasn’t the only reason the Isles lost (that was a team effort) but his play late in the third cost them a point.
Mathew Barzal: A double-minor today for no reason whatsoever, doesn’t look like Trotz’s benching is having the desired effect.
Carter Hart: He should have stopped at least two of the Isles goals tonight.