EAST MEADOW, NY — After what was a disastrous 6-5 loss to the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday, the New York Islanders were back on the practice sheet in an effort to forget and move on.
Out of the All-Star break, the Islanders looked rejuvenated, with the addition of Bo Horvat, but disconnected they were on Thursday.
“It’s just one of those nights where we had to really work to get on the same page, and that happens,” Islanders captain Anders Lee said. “Unfortunately, we did write the ship for sure, obviously, and put ourselves in a good position, but that part of our game, the disconnection, and just a little bit too much being sloppy, it cost us.”
Up next for the Islanders is a Saturday matinee in Canada against a struggling Montreal Canadiens team. One way to right the wrong of Thursday is to come out and prove that game was “just one of those games”.
“Unfortunately, over the course of a long season, you’re going to have a handful of games like that,” Islanders head coach Lane Lambert said. “So the key to that is just to go through it, talk about it, and then refocus, and so I think our group is excited to get on the ice tomorrow. We’re glad it’s an afternoon game get to get right back at it.
Everyone was accounted for at Islanders practice except centerman Jean-Gabriel Pageau. Lambert said there was nothing to worry about.
Here were the lines:
Josh Bailey-Bo Horvat-Mathew Barzal
Anders Lee-Brock Nelson-Kyle Palmieri
Zach Parise-Ross Johnston-Simon Holmstrom
Matt Martin-Casey Cizikas-Hudson Fasching
Adam Pelech-Ryan Pulock
Alexander Romanov-Scott Mayfield
Sebastian Aho-Noah Dobson
*Samuel Bolduc-Parker Wotherspoon were extras, with Johnston and Wotherspoon remaining on the ice after practice.
The top power-play unit remained the same, but Sebastian Aho was back quarterbacking the second unit, with Samuel Bolduc taken out of the rotation. With Pageau out, Hudson Fasching served as the bumper.
Like most of the Islanders on Thursday, Bolduc had a tough game, his weakest showing as an NHLer.
In 15:07 minutes, he had a few giveaways and was on the ice for a goal against. He looked timid for the first time at the NHL level.
NYI Hockey Now asked Lambert what he saw from Bolduc Thursday and why he was taken out of the starting lineup.
“I think he needed to move his feet a little bit more,” Lambert said. “He’s so good on breakouts and has that poise, but the two go hand in hand. If you’re not moving your feet, it’s harder to break the puck out.
“That would be probably the number one message to him, and he’s a young player who’s going to learn.”
Before the skate, Cal Clutterbuck (out indefinitely, upper-body) was on the ice with skills coach Troy Stevens working on some skating. He was holding a stick, a positive sign, but Lambert said there was no update on his status.
The New York Islanders are on the way to Montreal.