After losing 6-3 on Saturday to the Pittsburgh Penguins, it seemed logical that the New York Islanders would come out flying against that very same opponent just two nights later. That didn’t happen. It took two goals from the Penguins to elicit any sort of answer from the Islanders.
The Islanders had a bit of an answer in the second thanks to a rare Matt Martin power-play goal, but outside of that, the Isles generated very little. A so for the fourth time this season, they failed to get a point against the Penguins.
This performance wasn’t as bad as on Saturday, I’m sure Barry will be pleased with some of the performances out there. But it’s clear that there’s something quite wrong with the roster that needs to be sorted as soon as possible.
For now, here are the three winners and three losers on the night for the New York Islanders.
New York Islanders drop another two points to the Pittsburgh Penguins
Matt Martin (1PPG, 2 Shots, 6 Hits): The fourth line had a good night tonight. They were as advertised by getting up on the forecheck and causing havoc in the Penguins end. The Islanders finally got in the game thanks to the fourth line. Unfortunately a Leo Komarov stick foul ruined that momentum.
Matty was also the only Islander to get a goal, a power-play goal none-the-less. He hasn’t scored one of those since 2013.
Mathew Barzal (1A, -1): Good vision to hit Martin on the power-play. At times Mathew Barzal was the only one doing something out there, making it really easy for the Penguins defensemen to isolate and nullify him.
Oliver Wahlstrom (3SOG, 2 Hits): If a shakeup in the lines is going to happen you have to think Oliver Wahlstrom gets a shot in the top-six. He’s constantly finding space in the O-zone and making smart plays in the D-zone.
Not to mention he’s always finding a way to get that puck on net. He picked up three shots on goal today, which was more than any other forward on the night. Heck, it was more than the top line combined. He’s ready for more.
Ross Johnston (6 Hits, 2SOG, 2PIM): Just 2:43 into the game and Ross Johnston takes a dumb slashing call. I understand Kieffer Bellows isn’t Barry Trotz’s cup of tea, but I bet neither is going down 1-0 four minutes into the game.
Scott Mayfield (2 SOG, 3 Hits, 1 Block): He just wasn’t a positive factor out on the ice tonight. Unfortunately, the NHL doesn’t measure “icing’s committed” but Scott Mayfield was responsible for at least a few. Lately, he hasn’t been great defensively, offensively, and in transition. Which are the three stages of a hockey game.
Josh Bailey (1 GVA, 1 TKA): Josh Bailey was yet again a passenger out there for the Islanders. With the top-six already holding Leo Komarov, the Isles can’t have another passenger out there and effectively turning them into a top-four.
Not even the underlying numbers do him justice. He finished with a -0.10 game score tonight. Only Varlamov, Mayfield (already mentioned), and Leo had a lower game score.