After two losses to the Buffalo Sabres, the New York Islanders headed home to face the New Jersey Devils, who were eliminated from the playoffs, should have been a good chance to get a win.
But, as has been the theme of late with the Islanders, they just couldn’t generate anything. The lone goal they scored was a fluke bounce off of Anthony Beauvillier. That’s it.
Meanwhile, the Devils capitalized on two defensive mistakes on the Islander’s end. And that was the game.
Since the Islanders clinched a playoff position they’ve gone 0-2-1 against the two who are not only the worst in the division but two of the worst teams in the league. And the Isles have looked poor doing so.
This isn’t a case of the Islanders being unlucky. They seemingly have no legs out there and they’re getting outplayed by teams who are well out of the playoffs.
With this type of play home-ice advantage is no longer possible leaving them to start the playoffs on the road against what is likely to be the Pittsburgh Penguins. That’s not a comforting thought for any fan.
New York Islanders keep limping towards the playoffs
Anthony Beauvillier (1G, 3SOG): When you’re hot, you’re hot. For the sixth time in seven games, Anthony Beauvillier found himself with a goal. Much of what the Islanders were doing today came courtesy of Beau.
He’s heating up at the right time for a postseason run.
Ryan Pulock (2 blocks, 1.35 GS): With so few positives from today’s game it’s hard to find a winner by looking at the scoresheet so I’m leaning on game score stats to fill out the other two here.
Ryan Pulock had the second-best game score for the Isles. He may not have put up a point but he was on the ice for a 70.5% xGF, which is incredible. When he’s out there, the Islanders are rock solid. We’ll get to what happens when he’s not.
Adam Pelech (1 block, 1.18 GS): Everything I just said about Ryan Pulock also goes for Adam Pelech.
Kyle Palmieri (3SOG, -0.22 GS): Look, he wasn’t terrible today, but he got the chance to play on the top line today and it didn’t really pan out. Barry Trotz won’t be going back to that well any time soon I would imagine.
Nick Leddy (3SOG, -1, -0.94GS): Nick Leddy had the worst game score for any player on either team tonight. He just wasn’t any good today. Defensively it just hasn’t been going well with him getting lost in the D-zone a few times.
Unlike the top pair, Leddy holds a poor xGF% at 38.4%.
Scott Mayfield (1A, -1, -0.37GS): Yes, he has a point tonight. He shot the puck that deflected off of Beauvillier and past MacKenzie Blackwood, but Scott Mayfield was just poor in his own end.
Again he lost his man in the D-zone and it immediately resulted in a goal against. He’s got to be better out there in front of the net. His xGF% was marginally better than Leddy’s at 38.8%.
When Pulock and Pelech aren’t out there, the Islanders just aren’t the same team defensively, that has to be sorted out before the postseason begins.