The New York Islanders scored three goals in 31 seconds and had a 5-0 after the first period in Wednesday’s win over the Vancouver Canucks.
The Islanders went on to win 6-3 and although they were on their heels for the majority of the game following the first twenty minutes, it’s a win to certainly build on.
Did the New York Islanders just hop on a tired team?
The Vancouver Canucks defeated the Arizona Coyotes on Tuesday night with ease, where they scored three straight in the second period and another two in the third to win 5-1.
They looked like a team that ran a marathon, and the New York Islanders pounced early and often. They made the most of Vancouver’s mistake and took the ice that was given.
Did Jaroslav Halak just not have it?
Halak was not at his best in the first period, in part to his team’s failure to wake up. Halak allowed five goals on 12 shots and left the game with an expected goals-against of 0.86. Three of the five goals he allowed were considered high-danger chances.
Did the new line combinations spark the Islanders?
Given what happened against the Seattle Kraken on Feb. 2, the New York Islanders responded as one would expect after head coach Barry Trotz voiced his disappointment in their efforts.
Anthony Beauvillier found himself on the fourth line, Cal Clutterbuck was slotted alongside Mathew Barzal, and Ross Johnston played on the second line.
Out of the gate, it was guns a’ blazing. Every line was rolling, generating chances left and right as the Islanders got momentum early and carried it to a monumental lead.
Unlike against Seattle, where the Islanders only mustered 19 shots on goal, the Islanders shot the puck as often as possible. They registered 13 shots in the first period and had a shooting percentage of 38.46%.
Twelve different Islanders collected points in the first period, with all forward lines being on the ice for at least a goal.
So was the win a combination of all three? Certainly, but as Chester Bennington (RIP) of Linkin Park said, “In the end, it doesn’t even matter”.
It doesn’t matter how two points were obtained for the New York Islanders. It doesn’t matter where the confidence stems from for the next game against the Edmonton Oilers.
A win is a win, especially when you are behind the eight ball in the standings.
Although one win can spark a stronger sense of belief and motivation in the locker room, it’s about what you do in that next game that allows for growth.
The Islanders need to string wins together. Plain and simple.
A win and then a loss does absolutely nothing for them in the standings.
And their competition is not the easiest over the next two games with a back-to-back against the Edmonton Oilers Friday, who just fired their head coach and will be energized, and then against the red-hot Calgary Flames, a day later who just shut out the Vegas Golden Knights 4-0.
“This game, what we did today is done, and I don’t know how the Edmonton game is gonna play out,” Islanders head coach Barry Trotz said following the win. “We’re fortunate we jumped on them real quick, Vancouver, and we were able to capitalize…You can’t expect us to score five goals every game and be up on the team like that.”
“Every game has its own map if you will, or own set of circumstances, you know, that can change, and we’ve got to be flexible enough and resilient enough to roll with the punches when they come at us.”