The New York Islanders brought their worst performance of the season to Washington on Tuesday night, deservedly losing 1-0.
The New York Islanders have been limping along for a while now, and it never seemed more apparent than on Tuesday night in Washington. In front of the first crop of fans to enter Capital One Arena in over 400 days, the Islanders got totally and utterly worked by the Caps for all 60 minutes of the game.
Here are three takeaways from the 1-0 loss.
1. Islanders Bad from Top to Bottom
Noah Dobson, Michael Dal Colle, and Semyon Varlamov were the three Islanders in Saturday night’s lineup which came out on Tuesday. While I and others have questioned Trotz’s lineup decisions quite a bit recently, I don’t buy into the idea that the lineup changes caused this utterly flat and offensively anemic performance.
Would Dobson in his current form have been such a huge upgrade over Coburn as to change Tuesday’s result? Would MDC have impacted the lineup better than Wahlstrom? Semyon Varlamov was absent from the Islanders lineup altogether on Tuesday, but there was nothing wrong with Ilya Sorokin’s performance, and he wasn’t the reason the team ultimately lost on Tuesday.
This lineup wasn’t the optimal one that the Islanders could’ve rolled, but the idea that simply swapping players in or out would’ve changed Tuesday’s result just doesn’t seem likely to me. This was a failure throughout the entire lineup, and one or two substitutions weren’t going to save it.
Andy Greene and Braydon Coburn as a defensive pair is just horrible. Trotz should’ve probably canned that pair unless it became absolutely necessary at some point down the line. But none of the Islanders three defensive pairs were any good.
The usually very steady and reliable Adam Pelech ranked last in Game Score, according to Hockey Stat Cards, and his underlying numbers were poor. The Islanders were out-shot 5-14 with Pelech on the ice, and out-shot attempted 8-21 at 5v5.
It wasn’t just Pelech who was poor obviously, but I’m using his example to illustrate the point that even the Islanders’ best showed up in their worst form on Tuesday. This, to me, doesn’t appear to be a performance that a couple of lineup changes would’ve fixed. The Islanders just failed to show up from top to bottom.