NYI vs. NJD - 3/2/21
The Islanders started their week off with a quick 1 game road trip to play the New Jersey Devils and, for the first time in 357 days the Islanders would take the ice in front of fans. Semyon Varlamov was in goal for New York in what was an odd move from Barry Trotz as their rookie goaltender Ilya Sorokin pitched a shutout in his last 2 appearances but, as the old saying goes “Trust in Trotz'' the Isles did just that. Make no mistake about it, this was not the best hockey the Isles have played as they were beaten in every major category except the final score statistics wise but, they got it done and picked up the 2 points moving their record to (12-6-4) for a total of 28 points, they also moved into a tie for first with the Washington Capitals who have 1 game at hand over the Islanders. The first period featured no goals for either side and the Islanders had just a slight edge in the first but neither side looked like they had any particular control of the game or any momentum for that matter. The second period was also lacking any amount of flow as the Islanders spent a large chunk of that period killing 3 minor penalties which seemed to kill what little momentum or flow the Isles did have going into the period, this led us to a blank scoresheet after 2 periods of play. Finally after 41 minutes and 10 seconds of play the Islanders would take the lead on an absolute snipe by the searing hot rookie Oliver Wahlstrom who has seemingly arrived at the NHL level his 3rd goal in as many games and his 4th on the season. The assist on that goal came from J.G. Pageau and Nick Leddy, Leddy’s assist tied him for first in the league with John Carlson for assist by a defenseman and it will be interesting to see how that plays out for the rest of this season. Just 6 minutes and 41 seconds later Anders Lee would add his team leading 10th goal of the year to make the game 2-0 New York. The assist on the Lee goal came from Andy Greene and Mathew Barzal. The Devils would pull their goaltender with just under 4 minutes to play and the Isles would hit the post of the empty net 2 separate times one from Mathew Barzal and the other from Brock Nelson. The Devils would eventually get one past Semyon Varlamov making the game 2-1. Miles Wood would be the goal scorer as the Devils break the shutout streak at 119 minutes and 46 seconds. The assist on the Wood goal would come from Sharangovich and Gusev with just 14 seconds to play. Overall the Islanders did not play their best hockey and there are still a few issues that need to be addressed but overall you have to be impressed with how the Islanders were able to grind out 2 points moving themselves into a tie with the Washington Capitals at 28 points for the top spot in the MassMutual East division.
NYI vs. BUF - 3/4/21
The red hot Islanders absolutely dominated the Buffalo Sabres tonight, Noah Dobson would get the Islanders on the board just around the halfway point of the first off a great line rush, Dobson’s second of the year beat Jonas Johansson just below the blocker and inside the post to make the game 1-0. The Dobson goal came off a gorgeous feed by Jordan Eberle with the secondary assist coming from Mathew Barzal. Just around 6 minutes later Matt Martin would score from below the goal line on a bizarre shot that went off the mask of Johansson and into the net to make the score 2-0. Cizikas and Clutterbuck would grab the assists on the goal, the Islanders held a lead for the remainder of the first period, a period in which they dominated from start to finish outshooting the Buffalo Sabres 18-6. While he was held off the scoresheet Oliver Wahlstrom had another sensational game. The Islanders are a deadly team when they have all 4 lines rolling and the last few games have been immaculate examples of how good these New York Islanders are when they are playing with all 4 lines producing. The second period would start off with Taylor Hall scoring the first goal of the game for Buffalo to bring us to a 2-1 score, with that goal Hall not only scored his first goal since the opening period of opening night it also snapped the Ilya Sorokin shutout streak at over 7 periods of hockey. Sorokin had another solid game stopping 16 of the 18 he faced as he took the win tonight. With just around 5 minutes to play in the second Anthony Beauviller would tack on the eventual game winning goal with his 2nd of the year, the Assist on the Beauvillier goal came from Brock Nelson and Josh Bailey. Just 3 minutes and 14 seconds into the third period Jordan Eberle would crash the net and rifle home the rebound of an Anders Lee shot making the game 4-1. The goal from Eberle was his 9th with the assist coming from Anders Lee. Rasmus Ristolainen would score his 3rd of the year making the game 4-2, the assist came from Eichel and Reinhart. Later on in the period Matt Martin would score his 2nd goal of the game and 4th goal of the season. The lone assist on the goal would come from Casey Cizikas. Overall this was a great win for New York as they again moved into a tie for first place in the division and moved to (13-6-4) on the year!
NYI vs. BUF - 3/6/21
These New York Islanders are ROLLING. Buffalo started off as good as you could in a hockey game when Jacob Bryson scored just 33 seconds into the hockey game. The assist on that goal would come from Montour and Eichel. Buffalo would take that 1-0 lead to the first intermission. Just 3 minutes at 51 seconds into period 2 the Mathew Barzal would strike in a big way as he knocked down the Buffalo defender then beat the goaltender with a beautiful between the legs goal that is surely a candidate for Islanders goal of the year. This goal would be the 1st of 4 straight goals for New York as they torched Buffalo in the second period. Under 2 minutes later Brock Nelson would take a pass from Anthony Beauvillier and shoot it over the right shoulder of Carter Hutton. The assist in the Nelson goal came from Beauvillier and Pulock. Just around 3 minutes after that Cal Clutterbuck would pick up a rebound in front and tap it hope giving New York a 3-1 lead over Buffalo, the assist on the Clutterbuck goal would come from Matt Martin and Adam Pelech. Later on Scott Mayfield would add New York’s 4th of the period as he streaked down the right side and ripped home a wrist shot to give the Islanders a 4-1 lead. The assist came from Cizikas and Pageau. The Islanders would retain their 4-1 lead for the remainder of the second period. Sam Reinhart would get us started in the 3rd with a deflection past Semyon Varlamov off a shot by Rasmus Dahlin, the assist game from Dahlin and Olofsson. Anders Lee would score his team leading 11th goal making the game 5-2 Islanders, the Islanders would hold that 5-2 lead to make it back to back 5-2 victories against the Sabres as they look to sweep the Sabres. They also moved into first in the East Division as they keep rolling.
NYI vs. BUF - 3/7/21
The New York Islanders are playing like a confident hockey team, their most difficult stretch is coming up very soon and they have to pick up as many points as they can and they are doing just that. Anders Lee would get us started off when doing what he does best by scoring from right in front of the net at 5:13 of the second period after a scoreless first period.
The goal would be his team leading 12th of the year, the assists would come from Eberle and Dobson. Brock Nelson would go on to score his 8th of the campaign as Oliver Wahlstrom found him alone in the slot and he made no mistake with it ripping a wrist shot up into the top corner of the goal and making the game 2-1 in New York’s favor, the secondary assist on the Nelson goal came from Nick Leddy his team leading 15th assist of the season. Just around 10 minutes later Jean-Gabriel Pageau would make a beautiful move down the left side and find Casey Cizikas for the tap in on an equally beautiful cross crease feed. The assist would come from Pageau and Pelech. The score would stay 3-0 Islanders after 2 periods of play, Jeff Skinner would finally score his first goal of the season after such a brutal stretch for him, Skinner beat Sorokin with a backhander up high ending his goalless streak at 19 games. The assist came from Lazar and Mittelstadt. Just around 3 minutes later Buffalo would strike again making this an interesting game and bringing Buffalo within one. Miller moved down the right side and took a wrist shot right through Ilya Sorokin for a goal he may want back, overall Sorokin played well stopping 24/26 of the shots he faced. The assist on the Miller goal came from Eichel and Hall. Then Cal Clutterbuck would put the game to bed for New York as he made a move to his backhand and beat Johansson over the shoulder making the game 4-2 Islanders. The Clutterbuck goal was assisted by Matt Martin. Brock Nelson would score an empty net goal his 2nd of the game and 9th overall with the assist coming from Pulock. New York would hold the game down from there giving them a 5-2 win over Buffalo in 3 consecutive games.
The Islanders picked up all 8 available points with a 2-1 win and 3 straight wins by a score 5-2. The Islanders now sit in first place in the MassMutal East Division with a record of (15-6-4) with 34 points racked up after starting the week (11-6-4) with 26 points. This week’s player of the week has to be Mathew Barzal as he scored the possible goal of the year on Saturday afternoon with his between the legs magic. He scored a goal and 3 assists over the week. This was a strong week for New York as they face their toughest stretch coming up after the week ahead
THE WEEK AHEAD:
The week ahead features 4 more games with the toughest one being a Tuesday night matchup at the Nassau Coliseum with the Boston Bruins at 7:00 PM then another 3 game set this time with the New Jersey Devils. Thursday’s game will be at 7:00 PM at the Nassau Coliseum then 2 games at the rock on Saturday and Sunday with Saturday’s game starting at 7:00 and Sunday’s at 5:00 PM. This is a big week for the Isles as if they pick up 7-8 points it would really help it then in an advantageous position for this playoff push coming up.