Islanders: Oliver Wahlstrom Struggles in Season Opener
By Matt O'Leary
Last night, the New York Islanders lost an ugly 6-3 game to the Carolina Hurricanes. Unfortunately, losses to the Hurricanes over the past couple of years haven’t been anything new with how these two teams match up.
It wasn’t any one player, in particular, there were a lot of issues last night so don’t look at this as me singling out just one guy. Instead, it’s more of a commentary of what I saw from a young player last night.
Oliver Wahlstrom had a rough go of it last night. Before we get to the benching, let’s first talk about the power play early in the game. The Islanders struggled to get anything going on the man advantage with zone entry being an issue.
Now, I understand with the weather in Carolina the ice is choppy but Washltrom really struggled to stay upright. On one entry it looked like he just fell over the blue line. I know it happens but nobody else was struggling at the level that he was, it looked like he was out there with dull blades.
Late in the third period, Wahlstrom took an offensive zone holding call. Offensive zone penalties like that simply can’t happen, as a result, Barry Trotz skipped him for his next shift, which honestly is pretty understandable.
Islanders fans get on Trotz sometimes for his treatment of young guys but with how he was playing last night, I think even Wahlstrom would admit he deserved to sit. The power play led to the Hurricanes scoring and that all but iced the game.
Wahlstrom finished his day with 12:34 of ice time and no shots on goal. According to Hockey Stat Cards, Oliver Wahlstrom finished with a -0.46 game score. It wasn’t the worst on the team, Casey Cizikas, Andy Greene, Ross Johnston, JG Pageau, Ilya Sorokin, and Scott Mayfield came in lower but certainly, it’s not where you’d like it.
Again, it’s one game I don’t think he deserves to sit in favor of Kieffer Bellows or anything like that but he’s someone who could really use a bounce-back performance on Saturday in Florida.