Barry Trotz went full dad mode on his New York Islanders team after their last game by pulling out the “I’m just disappointed” line in his post-game presser. In case you forgot, the last time out the Isles lost 4-3 to the Flyers because they didn’t show up to play for 2-3 of the game.
Tossing out the “I’m disappointed” line was supposed to get his team to play a full 60 and atone for the sin of not showing up in their last tilt. Adding insult to injury on that night was the fact that it was the first night fans were allowed in the building. How could his team play like they did after fans have been waiting a full year to see them?
The Islanders made good in the eyes of their coach with a dominant effort against a divisional rival who’s struggling right now.
New York Islanders make good for poor effort on Thursday
There’s no better way to start a game than by scoring the first goal. With an early power play in the first, the Isles would take that advantage and get on the board first through Jean-Gabriel Pageau (assisted by Oliver Wahlstrom and Josh Bailey).
The Isles PP needed that one badly, they have scored two power-play goals on 25 opportunities for a dismal 8% efficiency this month. Going 1/2 tonight pushes them up to 11% on the month. Still terrible, but hopefully, this means they’ve bucked that downward trend after going 40.9% on the PP in the month of February.
Casey Cizikas would cap off the scoring in the first with this well-worked goal. It was his second of the period and fourth for the Isles. It came just over nine minutes after the Isles PP opener.
There are three things to talk about on this goal. Not only does Cizikas score this after being on his back just seconds prior, but Thomas Hickey picked up the primary helper, and Oliver Wahlstrom picked up the secondary helper.
Hickey was in the lineup for Sebastian Aho and put up two points in his first NHL game in 716 days. He’d say after the game that it was an emotional night.
Meanwhile, Oliver Wahlstrom had his second helper of the night to push him to 14 points on the year. That puts him fifth in scoring for rookies and puts him on pace for 46 points on a full 82 game year. He’s only 20 years old.
It’s been eight games since Anthony Beauvillier recorded a goal and seven since he recorded a point for the Islanders. So little production out of the Beau forced Barry Trotz to move him down to the third line with Pageau and Wahlstrom. Which, if we’re being honest, is hardly a demotion.
He didn’t stay down there the entire game, by the third he was back with Nelson and Bailey. With some nice forechecking Beau bats the puck out of the air and gets the return from Nelson for his first goal in a long time.
The 6-1 win, the Islanders are in a tie (on points) with the Washington Capitals who lost to the New York Rangers earlier today. These two teams will faceoff again on Monday in Philadelphia.
Casey Cizikas (2G, 2SOG, 1Hit): What a game by Zeeker. No question first star tonight.
Thomas Hickey (2A, 1SOG): The man can clearly still play. I don’t think we see Sebastian Aho again.
Ilya Sorokin (1GA, 0.958SV%): He only allowed one goal against and it came on a 2-on-1 after Pelech blew a tire at the offensive blueline. His already good numbers are going up again.
Carter Hart (6GA, 0.786SV%): An absolutely horrendous performance from the Flyers goalie.
Nate Prosser (-3, 3 GVA): Awful, awful game from the Flyers d-man.
Jakub Voracek (-1, 1SOG): He was absolutely anonymous tonight.