The Islanders lost an ugly one to the Minnesota Wild last night. Plain and simple, they played an ugly game from start to finish. Losing by only two goals sort of feels like a lucky break.
If an individual had no outside knowledge of how the Islanders were doing this season, and took one look at social media, however, they’d think the Islanders had yet to win a game. This is just simply not the case, as the Isles are actually in a playoff spot currently. They’re 5-4-1, which is certainly good, albeit not great. Their point leader is John Tavares, who is currently on pace for 82 points. Anders Lee is on pace for just under 50 goals. The core hasn’t been the only players performing, however – the supporting cast is incredibly improved with guys like Andrew Ladd, Brock Nelson, Casey Cizikas, and Josh Bailey all off to strong starts.
People always seem to question the decision making of Doug Weight. They seem to think that Ryan Pulock is more suited to be in the lineup than someone like Thomas Hickey. Yeah, maybe Pulock has more talent, but the stats back up Weight – the Islanders do not allow many shots per game, and perhaps had it not been for some weak netminding from Thomas Greiss this season, perhaps they’d have one of the league’s better ga/g rankings, and even now it’s not all that bad for the early season. Oh, and nobody seemed to understand the demotion of Josh Ho-Sang either. Well, they didn’t send him down for fun. They sent him down so he could play a little bit more regularly, and they didn’t think he could get in the lineup this weekend. He has looked a little lost on the ice lately, but he’ll be back soon.
Speaking of young guys, how about Matt Barzal. He’s been incredibly fun to watch, and he’s really come into his own lately. He actually scored a very nice goal yerstday evening, so at least he played well.
Oh, and how about Jaroslav Halak. Boy, he’s been impressive, with a 2.72 GAA and a .913 save percentage. He’s certainly looked like the guy who lead the Isles into the playoffs in 2014 and for much of 2015.
It is always pretty funny to watch twitter meltdown when the Islanders begin losing. Fans seem to always think the world is ending, and that North Korea has finally pushed the button. Relax, everybody. The Islanders had won three in a row before yesterday evening (although some people were claiming that they only won those games because of weak opponents), and one loss to open a road trip won’t do any really harm. Believe it or not, the Islanders season is not over.