The New York Islanders have taken six out of the of the eight possible points on their recent road trip. After coming off a 1-1-1 home stand, the Islanders had a strong road trip going into the Christmas break.
While the obvious stat to look at is the number of points that the team received overall, an overlooked stat is the number of goals that the Islanders gave up in the games that they had won.
In their last three wins against Colorado, Arizona and Dallas, the Islanders gave up three combined goals. If the Islanders continue to get high quality performances from their goaltenders, then the sky is the limit for this team.
Notably, the Islanders managed to achieve something that not many other teams had been able to do on Monday against Colorado: prevent the top line of Nathan Mackinnon, Gabriel Landeskog and Mikko Rantanen from scoring on even strength.
Playing Arizona the next day could have been a struggle for the Islanders, but they fought hard and won. Joshua Ho-Sang proved to be the team’s x-factor, as he scored the game tying goal, and Ryan Pulock had 2 assists.
Now with a three-game winning streak, the Islanders looked to make it four straight when they traveled to Las Vegas. However, the team struggled, looking like the vintage 2017-2018 Islanders.
If this was last season, the Islanders may have fallen into a slump. However, this is a new team. Yesterday, the Islanders traveled to Dallas to face the Stars. After falling down 1-0, the Islanders scored three unanswered goals to win the game 3-1.
Recent call-ups Devon Toews and Josh Ho-Sang have played very well.
Ho-Sang, who had a goal against the Coyotes, played a few shifts in place of the injured Cal Clutterbuck against Dallas on the fourth line, showing that Ho-Sang has gained the trust of the coaching staff and has been rewarded with extra minutes of playing time.
Barry Trotz echoed this sentiment, praising the play of his young, budding star.
“Josh, since he’s come up, he’s really playing the right way. He’s got real good hockey sense and he’s got the speed and the skill. When he’s playing the way he is now, he’s going to be hard to send (back to the AHL) if he continues to do that. Give him credit, I thought he was one of our better players.”
Devon Toews, who was called up due to the injury of Thomas Hickey against the Avalanche, played well in his first game in the NHL. He totaled 3 SOG in eighteen minutes of ice time.
The Isles suffered two injuries over the four game span. Thomas Hickey was hurt in the win against the Avalanche, and Cal Clutterbuck suffered an injury against the Stars.
The next game for the Islanders will be played in Brooklyn against the Ottawa Senators.
In the mean time, Drive 4 Five wishes you a Merry Christmas!!!