By Sheng Peng
Special to NYI Hockey Now
Two defensive plays — one right, one wrong — helped turn the tide for the New York Islanders in double-overtime Tuesday night.
Before Kevin Shattenkirk’s whiff, Anthony Cirelli had his swing to win the game for the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Nikita Kucherov (86) receives the lead pass from Cirelli (71).
Kucherov has a step on Nick Leddy (2), so Scott Mayfield (24) switches and helps out. Mayfield’s hustle discourages Kucherov from continuing a straight-on attack.
Also, Cirelli’s own hustle — he beats Anthony Beauvillier (18) up the ice — gives Kucherov a trailer pass option.
Critically, Leddy doesn’t double-team Kucherov, trusting his partner to cover the 2019 Hart Trophy winner. Instead, he takes the middle, where he’s waiting for Cirelli walking down the slot.
Granted, this is basic defense from Leddy. And actually, Cirella works him, getting off a dangerous shot.
But imagine if Leddy chased the puck and hadn’t been there?
Speaking of chasing the puck…
Shattenkirk (22) doesn’t deserve the flak that he’s gotten for shanking his shot attempt.
Mikhail Sergachev (98) also failed to stop the Anders Lee (27) cross-ice pass to Jordan Eberle.
That happens too.
But what shouldn’t happen — albeit understandably because Shattenkirk usually thinks offense first — is this:
Shattenkirk whiffs, but instead of backing up to play defense, he lurches toward the puck. At that moment, Shattenkirk is in no man’s land and Lee has him beat.
It’s a split-second decision: In fairness to Shattenkirk, he’s certainly not the only NHL defenseman who would have made this mistake.
But chase the puck when you shouldn’t get left behind.
GET NYIHN IN YOUR INBOX!
NYI Team & Cap Info
Islanders Practice Update: Varlamov Game 2 Status Uncertain, Isles Turn Page to Game 2
OTR: ‘Yotes’ Targeting Eichel; Patrick Roy; Tuukka Rask | NYHN+
NYHN Daily: Islanders Take Game 1, Palmieri Plays Hero & More
‘Level-Headed’ Ilya Sorokin shines in Stanley Cup Playoffs Debut Against Pittsburgh
Game 1 Performance Shows Why Islanders Brought in Kyle Palmieri at Deadline
More Fans Than Expected Being Allowed into Islanders Playoff Games at Nassau Coliseum
Islanders-Penguins Renew Storied Playoff History with One Final Chapter at Nassau Coliseum
Trotz: ‘What I Saw Today is the Kyle Palmieri I’ve Seen as an Opposing Coach’
Laura Curran Calls on Gov. to Lift Nassau Coliseum Capacity Limits for Isles Postseason Run
Sound Tigers No More? Islanders AHL Affiliate Hints at Name Change
- Arnold: Johnny Boychuk Helped Change Perception, Culture of New York Islanders on
- Bridgeport Sound Tigers to Play Condensed 24 Game Schedule This Season on
- Islanders Trade Talk: How to Get Blue Jackets’ Nick Foligno to Long Island on
- WHAT CAN BROWN DO FOR YOU? LA Forward Could Be Lee Trade Deadline Replacement on
- Islanders Making Most of Ilya Sorokin’s Time in Playoff Bubble on