The New York Islanders lost their second consecutive game and begin the young season 0-2-0 by losing to the Washington capitals 2-1. I did not see the game but you can see the highlights here:
I really can’t give you me take on the game either but the theme is still the same after two games: Not everyone are on the same page yet. Here’s a quote from Ryan Strome via the New York Islanders:
“There’s not a lot of time to think about it, we have to play tomorrow night,” Strome said. “It’s important that we get on the same page. For bits and pieces of these games we’ve had some guys going, some guys not going, we need all of our guys on the same page – 12 forwards, six D for 60 minutes and we’ll be fine. We have a good opportunity tomorrow at home.”
To further the point of not everyone on the same page yet, here is an eye-opening stat from Eric Hornick:
Of the 23 players on this year’s roster, only 15 were on the Opening Night roster last year: Josh Bailey, Jean-Francois Berube, Johnny Boychuk, Casey Cizikas, Cal Clutterbuck, Calvin De Haan, Thomas Greiss, Jaroslav Halak, Travis Hamonic, Nikolay Kulemin, Nick Leddy, Anders Lee, Brock Nelson, Ryan Strome, and John Tavares. Thomas Hickey started last season on Injured Reserve and is on the Opening Night Roster this year. The seven newcomers are: Andrew Ladd, Jason Chimera, Alan Quine, Anthony Beauvillier, Matthew Barzal, Shane Prince, and Denis Seidenberg.
And the first line? Well, Brian Compton can answer this one:
JT at World Cup didn't help. Top line still working out the kinks. https://t.co/8hf6sXG7fy
— Brian Compton (@BComptonNHL) October 16, 2016
As far as positives go, I’m not worried with the goaltending. I thought Halak and Greiss have played well in their first games and I don’t think the Isles are concerned either. The penalty kill is currently at 90 percent. It’s only been two games, but for now it’s also a good sign. The power-play did score a goal last night and they’re at 20 percent for the short season, which is expected. What are we missing? It’s obvious 5-on-5 play needs some work and I think getting some games in and possibly more practice time will help. I do think one of Barzal or Beauvillier will eventually be sent down as the Islanders look for the right chemistry, but I’ll be curious if players like Josh Ho-Sang may be given a look at some point. If the Islanders cannot get their first line producing, then he may come up earlier rather than later. The Islanders are only two games in, but they all need to come together and get on the same page quickly. When that happens, they should be able to get going and not get back on course, because they haven’t left the port yet.