The New York Islanders have now won two games in a row, nine of their last 11, as they sit just two points out of first place in the Metropolitan Division after their 4-2 win over the Ottawa Senators. It wasn’t the prettiest of games, but the Islanders stuck with it, got strong goaltending and timely goals to get the win.
Here’s your NYI Hockey Now postgame mailbag:
Just thinking, why would Ross Johnson take Bailey’s spot? (@stevode)
After the game, New York Islanders head coach Lane Lambert spoke about his decision to scratch Josh Bailey for Ross Johnston. Lambert will never talk negative about his own players, citing that he wanted Johnston in as a physical presence against the Ottawa Senators and that Bailey has been playing “fine”.
This was the second time this season that Lambert has sat Bailey, but not because of his play.
Isles were ok until Johnston took that dumb penalty. Game changed. (@islescup13)
I thought Ross Johnston had a good showing for the most part. But yes, that penalty on Ottawa Senators forward and Long Island native Shane Pinto in the second period was an undisciplined penalty that you could see did not sit well with Lane Lambert.
The Islanders penalty kill had cooled off mightily and while on the kill, Scott Mayfield ended up taking a double-minor high-sticking penalty after catching Brady Tkachuk in the face in front of goal.
The Senators capitalized on the five-on-three to tie the score at one in the second.
They have to cut down on the turnovers, and Beauvillier needs to get his game right. (@RobP1369)
The Islanders were only credited with nine giveaways in the game, but it seemed like it was a struggle, especially early on, putting pucks on teammate’s tapes, which slowed down the ability to transition.
Anthony Beauvillier has struggled mightily this season, as he has yet to find his game. He is a streaky goal scorer and we will see if once he gets one, if they start to come.
But when you are not scoring, you need to do the little things to win and as we saw Monday night, Beauvillier lost his man leading to the Claude Giroux tap-in goal.
Time to go all in and get the undisputed 1st line winger for Barzal. Maybe even get a veteran Dman to play with Mayfield on an expiring deal, though Aho is starting to find his footing. (@rpaulsenphoto)
The New York Islanders have not brought in a scoring winger for Mathew Barzal, the same way they never brought in a second star for John Tavares, leading to his departure following the 2017-18 season.
But the difference is that Mat Barzal signed long-term, and will likely be on the island for the next nine seasons (eight-year contract kicks in next season). And espcially if the Islanders are in the hunt or in a playoff spot come the 2023 NHL Trade Deadline, general manager Lou Lamoriello needs to add a prolific goal scorer like a Vladimir Tarasenko.
Oliver Wahlstrom may still be a long-term answer alongside Mathew Barzal, but they have struggled early on to produce to the level expected as a duo.
Sebastian Aho has been rather strong, especially as of late, as his confidence continues to rise and rise. Is he a long-term starter for this team or a stop-gap for players like Robin Salo and Samuel Bolduc?
More likely the latter, but right now he’s playing well and the Islanders are winning.
If he continues to raise his game, the Islanders can use all of their resources, cap space to go get that scorer, as that is more of the priority one would think.
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After an impressive offseason, New York Islanders forward Oliver Wahlstrom has not been the consistent goal scorer the team had hoped for out of the gate. But it is still early in the season, and the way first-year head coach Lane Lambert has handled Wahlstrom’s development has been night and day from how his predecessor Barry Trotz dealt with the New York Islanders’ young goal scorer. New York Islanders.