Sansided
Editorials

Islanders lessons learned from another failed semi-final series

TAMPA, FLORIDA - JUNE 21: Scott Mayfield #24 of the New York Islanders reacts to a goal by Yanni Gourde #37 of the Tampa Bay Lightning during the first period in Game Five of the Stanley Cup Semifinals during the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Amalie Arena on June 21, 2021 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images)
TAMPA, FLORIDA - JUNE 21: Scott Mayfield #24 of the New York Islanders reacts to a goal by Yanni Gourde #37 of the Tampa Bay Lightning during the first period in Game Five of the Stanley Cup Semifinals during the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Amalie Arena on June 21, 2021 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images)
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New York Islanders
Mathew Barzal #13, Ryan Pulock #6 and Matt Martin #17 of the New York Islanders. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Not There…yet

This team is still making mistakes a championship-caliber team shouldn’t be making:

Allowing the Lightning to score a shorthanded goal in Game 7 still bothers me. The Isles were the only team to have not allowed a short-handed goal against through the regular season and playoffs (before Game 7).

The one time they allowed one was in Game 7 of all places. With the season on the line, they did the one thing they knew how to do. It was an absolutely mental lapse from Pulock, Bailey, Palmieri. Something championship-caliber teams don’t do.

Why Barry Trotz waited until he was forced to play Kyle Palmieri next to Mathew Barzal is beyond me. I get why he didn’t do it against Boston, that third line was too good to break up. But with Pageau hurt that third line wasn’t very effective. That effectively meant two of the Isles three scoring lines were handicapped, and they didn’t have to be.

The power play was atrocious the entire post-season (except that one game where they went 3/4 against Boston). That’s not necessarily a surprise, the PP has been bad for years. But with the personnel at their disposal (even with Lee out), it should have been more of a factor.

All of these mistakes can be fixed going forward and into the 2021-22 season. The window hasn’t closed on this team.

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