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Postgame Mailbag: Lightning Make Islanders Pay for Mistakes & More

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New York Islanders

TAMPA BAY, FLORIDA– New York Islanders played a much stronger game against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday than they did against the New Jersey Devils on Thursday, but the result was still the same, a loss, as they fell 5-3.

Rapid Recap: Islanders Allow Back-Breaking Bolts Goal Late in Second, Lose 5-3

Here’s the NYI Hockey Now Postgame Mailbag:

Soshnikov on waivers? (@ian_10_19)

Nikita Soshnikov may have made the decision for New York Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello easier in terms of which forward eventually ends up on waivers. With Sebastian Aho activated from IR to play on Saturday night, Robin Salo was “loaned” to Bridgeport, a paper transaction. Lamoriello seemed hesitant to place any of his forwards on waivers, which is why Aho ended up on IR in the first place when Cal Clutterbuck returned.

But after a bad night for the 28-year-old Nikita Soshnikov, two turnovers, one ending up in the back of the Islanders’ net late in the second period, he is likely the one that ends up on waivers.

Sloppy but not as bad as it looked. (@Lauruska)

I will agree with this statement, as, for the most part, the New York Islanders played a strong hockey game. At even strength, the Islanders had a 62.65 Corsi For %, with 39 scoring chances to the Lightning’s 19.

The problem was that the Islanders committed a few turnovers, ending up in the back of the net.

Scott Mayfield coughed one up, which led directly to the Lightning’s first goal. Brock Nelson failing to react to a play, allowed the Lightning to bury a rebound for goal no. two. Corey Perry was left all alone for Lightning goal no. three. A turnover led to Nick Paul’s last-second goal in the second for number four, and Alex Killorn was left all alone in front to bury a puck off a rebound for the Lightning’s fifth goal.

Mistakes will happen in a game, but if you make mistakes against elite teams, they will make you pay.

Barzal is not a scoring threat. Goalies are just playing the open pass. (@ANDRETH51979458)

There was a point in the contest when New York Islanders forward Mathew Barzal carried the puck up the ice leading to a 3-on-2. The Lightning defenders, knowing that Barzal is a past-first guy, backed off him and focused on Anders Lee and Kyle Palmieri.

Barzal was given a lane to shoot the puck on a weak Brian Elliott but instead fed Lee, who did not have a great angle to shoot, given him being a left-handed shot and Elliott denied the shot with ease.

“I thought it would be a good play. I thought I would sell the goalie on my shot,” Barzal told me after the game as the reason for not shooting.

But Barzal, at this point in his career, has not consistently shot the puck from high-danger areas, which makes him a bit easier to read.

Come out tomorrow and take two points. (@USMC03171)

The good news for the New York Islanders after a loss like that is that they have a game Sunday night. At 5 PM ET, they battle the Florida Panthers, the team that beat them 3-1 on opening night.

But a game right after a loss allows the team to move forward quickly, mentally.

“I feel like we did [respond with effort after Thursday’s loss] and didn’t get the result,” Cal Clutterbuck said. “That’s frustrating, but, you know, we got another crack at it in less than 24 hours, and if we bring the same effort, I like our chances.”

Dobson forgot how to play defense. (@Meeks13x)

Obviously, this is a bit dramatic, but there is some issue here that I want to discuss.

I think Noah Dobson has more pressure on himself now than he ever has at the NHL level. He has always played with veteran players, strong defensive players. He always could jump on the rush, knowing that if something went south, he had support. But with a 22-year-old Alexander Romanov alongside him, one that is aggressive to a fault and has been turning the puck over often, Noah Dobson has struggled to help him out.

Dobson seems nervous again with the puck on his stick in the defensive zone, with turnovers of his own.

Although Lane Lambert played it off in the media after breaking up the two late in the first period, this is a defensive pairing that has been an extreme liability, more so because of Romanov. Still, Dobson has not been good enough in his own zone.

Here are the New York Islanders stories to read for today:

Nowadays, everyone knows Butch Goring as the man beside broadcaster Brendan Burke when the New York Islanders are on MSG Networks. Since 2010, Goring has been giving his takes on Islanders games, mispronouncing names, showcasing his Islanders fandom, and coining phrases like ‘Toy department’ while also screaming at the referees. He’s a passionate guy, and on Saturday, Butch Goring celebrated his 73rd birthday. New York Islanders.

New York Islanders prospect William Dufour lit the lamp twice Friday night, his first and second career AHL goals, the second being the OT winner. Both came via odd-man rushes with Aatu Räty. Watch them here. New York Islanders.

The Fisherman jersey is a touchy subject for New York Islanders fans given the image it portrayed back in the late 1990s. Over 30 years later, the New York Islanders have brought it back, with a bit of a modern spin, for their 2022-23 Reverse Retro sweater. Here are their reactions and some players’ reactions, too. New York Islanders.

 

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