The New York Islanders have made coming back in games a habit, but it's one they'd ideally not want to rely on. The team has proved to be resilient in their six comeback wins, with four coming in the third period (two multigoal deficits), but that trend isn't sustainable over an 82-game schedule. You're tempting fate if you continue to fall behind early, and it would be the team's preference to play with and defend leads late than being forced to play desperate hockey to earn points.
Isles want to break the good habit of having to comeback in games
“It’s not something you’re looking for,” Josh Bailey said. “I think it’s great to have that resilience. We always have the belief that we’ve just got to stick with it and keep working. You want to get out to leads and keep pushing. It’s just kind of the way the chips have fallen at this point.”
The Islanders have been elite in third periods this season, scoring 26 goals in the final 20 minutes compared to 27 in the first and second periods combined. But they're only in a position to come back because their goaltending has been so good when the start of games has been anything but.
“I’ll say it’s good to have a comeback every game,” said Ilya Sorokin. “But I should give us the chance to start 1-0, not [0-1].” Some of the games the Isles have come back and won could've been out of reach if it wasn't for their star goaltender. Sorokin has been their best player this season and most reliable. Unlike the rest of the team, his game hasn't had mood swings, he's not afforded to.
The Isles are 5-0-0 when scoring first and are 5-6-0 when allowing that first goal. That record shows that when they score early, they've been able to sustain and protect thier leads around stellar goaltending and defensive structure. It would behoove them to do more of that, especially when playing on the road away from their fans, as they start a four-game road trip tonight in Ottawa.