Saturday, February 26, 2022

Islanders discovering late-season kind a silver lining

It’s typical of this Islanders season that, after taking part in what coach Barry Trotz stated “may’ve been our greatest…

By Staff , in Silver , at February 26, 2022

It’s typical of this Islanders season that, after taking part in what coach Barry Trotz stated “may’ve been our greatest recreation of the 12 months” Thursday evening, they left San Jose with only one level. 

Forty p.c of the way in which by their western swing, the Islanders haven’t maximized factors, however they’ve no less than discovered themselves taking part in higher hockey. After a 4-3 shootout loss to the Sharks on Thursday, they’re carrying a four-game factors streak right into a weekend back-to-back towards the Kings and Geese. 

Given the failure to capitalize this week on shootouts towards the Canadiens and at San Jose (a continuation of a yearlong battle within the format), perhaps it’s clinging to silver linings to notice the positivity. Given the Islanders’ 19-20-8 document, no person is kidding themselves in regards to the final route by which that is headed. 

There’s this stat: The Islanders, per Pure Stat Trick, have recorded two of their three highest shot totals this season within the final two video games, 37 towards San Jose and 33 towards Seattle on Tuesday. They did so rolling out a new-look prime line of Zach Parise, Mathew Barzal and Kyle Palmieri, which has appeared pretty dominant. Perhaps they’ve discovered one thing. Perhaps not. 

That prime line, although, has been a problem all 12 months, with the Islanders biking by companions for Barzal and discovering little. If this threesome finally ends up being the reply, then it’ll no less than encourage a sigh of aid. 

Kyle Palmieri (21) celebrates with teammates.
Kyle Palmieri (21) celebrates with teammates.
NHLI by way of Getty Photos

The fact for the Islanders is that subsequent 12 months’s roster will seemingly find yourself trying rather a lot like this 12 months’s roster, that the so-far disappointing Palmieri is underneath contract by 2025 and presently has a no-trade clause, and {that a} failure to compete this 12 months has ramifications past the tip of the league’s calendar. 

Additionally of observe, the Islanders put collectively their efficiency Thursday with Josh Bailey a wholesome scratch. Whether or not that turns into a development — Trotz has been harsh on teenager Oliver Wahlstrom this 12 months and famous afterward it wasn’t “one in all his higher video games” — isn’t but clear. However seeing what they’ve in Wahlstrom and the 23-year-old Kieffer Bellows is vital for the Islanders for the remainder of this season, and that math might go away Bailey, the staff’s longest-tenured participant, on the surface some nights. 

Why care in regards to the final two months of a season that may usually really feel like going by the motions? 

That’s why. 

Josh Bailey
Josh Bailey was a wholesome scratch Thursday towards the Sharks.
NHLI by way of Getty Photos

“That’s a transparent image of how we play once we’re profitable,” Adam Pelech stated following the sport Thursday. “So I believe it’s much less frustration and extra one thing for us to construct off of.” 

At five-on-five, the Islanders rolled 4 strains, dominated the puck and created a majority of possibilities. They performed the form of hockey we’ve not often seen from them this 12 months, and did so for the second straight recreation. The penalty kill, 0-for-2 on the evening, left one thing to be desired, but when not for the context of the season — and that could be a relatively giant caveat to make — it might be an encouraging state of affairs. 

“I believed we performed a extremely good recreation,” Parise, who scored his four-hundredth profession objective, stated. “Deserved a greater final result.” 

“You possibly can stroll away from video games like this and should you play to that degree each evening, you get away with quite a lot of factors,” Trotz stated. “We had been actually good. The hockey gods didn’t bless us tonight.” 

Sustaining it nearly definitely received’t get the Islanders within the playoffs. However it received’t be meaningless.

Source link