The New York Islanders came into Seattle riding as they entered the New Year on a three-game winning streak. On the opposite side of the country, the Kraken came into their matchup on a three-game losing streak but are a much better team than they were a season ago.
When you don’t put forth effort in early and often, you get the games as we saw on Sunday night.
The New York Islanders came out flat, showing just bits and sports of strength before it quickly disintegrated.
They relied on Ilya Sorokin too much, who made tremendous saves while not playing as sharp in certain areas of the game. To clarify, Sorokin was the only reason the Islanders had a fighting chance.
Following the team, New York Islanders head coach Lane Lambert seemed disappointed with what transpired on Climate Pledge Arena ice.
“I just thought we didn’t execute,” Lane Lambert started his press conference with. “We weren’t clean on our breakouts. Starts there. You can’t play with speed if you don’t execute, exit your zone cleanly and we didn’t do that. I give them credit. They had good gaps all night. But we certainly didn’t. When we did have the puck in the neutral zone at times, we turned it over instead of getting it deep, establishing our forecheck.
“We didn’t generate anything because we just didn’t play the game the right way.”
The Islanders were only credited with three giveaways on the night, but you can time that by three or four…or five. They were a mess.
Despite how the game started, the Islanders went to the second intermission, tied at one after a Mathew Barzal goal with around 3:30 to play in the first.
And even with a carry-over power play, the Islanders came out flat again–as the power-play woes continue.
“I fully expected us to be better in the second period, and it started with the power play, which didn’t execute, and then they scored on the power play,” Lambert said soon thereafter, so specials teams played a big role in this game tonight.”
Last Thursday, the Islanders snapped an 0-for-27 power-play drought in their 2-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets. But that streak started a new, as they went 0-for-2 on the night.
They only generated a shot per power play while allowing three short-handed shots. When the power play isn’t producing, the last thing you can afford to do is give goal-scoring chances.
“We’ll we’re honestly going to look at it, obviously here in the next day, because we had two chances in the first period, and that game could have been a different story. That has to start producing. Right now, it’s just not, and we’re going to have to take a good, close look at it.”
The power play has been a problem all year, and with injuries to key guys, Lambert has had to maneuver every aspect of his lineup.
But it’s clear the units aren’t working together, so Lambert has to make some decisions.
Don’t be shocked when the power play looks a bit different at practice Tuesday, But also, do not be shocked if the power play remains the same.
These are the games where you want to see the power play come through and have the backs of the five-five unit. Although the playoffs are far away and may or may not be in the Islanders’ future, the power play needs to be an advantage, or they gave themselves a slim chance.