The New York Islanders got to know the Tampa Bay Lightning well after their playoff round last spring. But as last night’s 6-1 loss showed–they still have a lot of learning to do.
Fresh off the news that Allan Walsh—goaltender Jaroslav Halak’s agent—made a point to rip on the Islanders heavy three-goalie roster over the weekend, the rumors of a possible trade beginning to appear. Halak dressed for backup behind Thomas Greiss at the start of the Tampa game. Greiss played most of the postseason against the Lightning in the spring as well as a solid 33 saves against Toronto over the weekend, it made sense to stick Greiss in. That didn’t mean everyone was happy about it. Namely, Allan Walsh took to social media to voice his opinion–tweeting about the Islanders 3-goalie practice system & the problems for his client. (you can view the thread HERE)
Walsh argued that Halak wasn’t given enough practice time to begin to perform with the same level of success he had during the World Cup of Hockey (Halak as Europe’s starting goaltender had a .947 save percentage during the tournament along with shutting out Team USA 3-0 before falling to Team Canada in the final), & after Greiss let three goals go by in the 1st, Halak was placed into the net. Halak managed to fend off 22 out of 25 shots, but still let three goals go by; a definite blow to an already stressful week for the Islanders goaltending.
Goals in Tampa’s favor became a staple part of last night’s game—along with “Fire Cappy” chants echoing through the arena. If there’s anything that sums up the Islanders 0-6 home record for the year, it’s the fans annoyance at the team—and specifically Coach Capuano.
The wild game continued in front of the net—with the Islander’s defenseman Calvin de Haan smacking Tampa’s forward Jonathan Drouin in the head with his elbow early in the 1st, is forced to settle the score with Tampa alternate captain Ryan Callahan. The fight can be viewed HERE.
Both of the players are slapped with penalties; de Haan with Fighting & Interference while Callahan had an additional 10-minute Misconduct penalty along with Fighting & Interference. A potential Player Safety violation could possibly be called on de Haan, but he won’t know until the announcement is made.
The New York Islanders managed to be outshot 36-27 and only managed one goal in the 2nd–leaving Tampa Bay to control most–or all–of the game.
- Tampa’s Nikita Kucherov scores 3:21 into the 1st; assisted by captain Steven Stamkos & Victor Hedman. PPG. (1-0 TBL)
- Tampa’s Kucherov scores again 12:18 into the 1st; assisted by Hedman & Alex Killorn. PPG. (2-0 TBL)
- Tampa’s Steven Stamkos scores 13:34 into the 1st ; assisted by Kucherov & Salter Koekkoek (3-0 TBL)
- Tampa’s Brian Boyle opens up the 2nd with a goal at 6:17; assisted by Ryan Callahan & Valterri Flippula. (4-0 TBL)
- J.T. Brown has an unassisted goal at 9:30 in the 2nd. Shorthand (5-0 TBL)
- Flippula scores at 11:19 in the 2nd; assisted by Kucherov & Koekkoek. (6-0 TBL)
- Dennis Siedenberg puts the Islanders on the board at 19:30 in the 2nd; assisted by Calvin de Haan & captain John Tavares. (6-1 TBL)
This game was one giant yikes for the Islanders, wrapping up a hard first month for the Islanders and Brooklyn. In between goalie troubles, free agent fear, lost players, ice trouble, & the ever-growing call to fire Coach Capuano, things can only get better from here on in–hopefully. At the very least, the problems need to be capped off before it becomes worse.
In order to pull off the remarkable season they managed last year & become a serious Cup contender, the team needs to focus on one another. Specifically how they can began to play as a cohesive unit instead of bumbling lines. Only when these players learns to balance each other out & learn to work as a team can they fix the first month. Then the players can begin to focus on the opponents in front of them.
The Islanders get their chance for redemption with the Philadelphia Flyers tomorrow night at 7/6c on MSG+.