The New York Islanders have been in this position before. Twice actually. Being down 2-1 in a series isn’t something that will worry them one bit. In both the Pittsburgh and Boston series, the Islanders were down 2-1 after game three.
Look, I know “This is Tampa”. But the same was said about the Penguins and about the Bruins. Going down 2-1 to both teams was supposed to be a death sentence. Both times the Islanders came back and took the series.
Of course, it doesn’t mean that the Isles will turn this around and take the series. But there’s no reason to think this series is over three games in. It isn’t
New York Islanders loss doesn’t spell “doom and gloom”
Do the blue and orange have to be better? Of course. Their effort in the first period can only be described as pedestrian. After two days of building up the energy of the crowd as the seventh man, the five skaters did nothing to get the crowd into it.
Varlamov played a hell of a game to keep this one as close as it was. The Islanders netminder robbed a few goals off of Tampa sticks and kept them off the scoreboard on the power play.
But let’s not act like the Islanders were terrible tonight. Yes, the first period wasn’t great and had no pace or energy, but through 60 minutes the Islanders held some good numbers at 5on5:
- 54.37 CF%
- 62.75 SCF%
- 73.68 HDCF%
- 64.57 xGF%
(Stats from NarturalStatTrick)
The Isles were expected to score three goals at 5on5 tonight, they got one. In the second period alone the Isles were expected to get 1.47 goals. On most nights the Islanders win this game. Like Barry said at the end of the game.
The Islanders played well enough to get a win tonight, outside of the first period. There’s a bit that needs to be cleaned up, but they played a good game overall.
If you’re still thinking: “Nah, Isles were terrible and deserved to lose”, think about it this way. That “terrible” Isles performance was still a goal away from pushing it to overtime. With a full-60 – something we know they can do at the Coliseum – can certainly get them a win on Saturday.