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Islanders Have a Rough Game Against the Flames

Flames vs Islanders

After a disappointing loss in Edmonton, the Islanders had another losing performance in Calgary. The Calgary Flames defeated the Islanders at a final score of 5-2 in this one. The Islanders went 1-2 in their three game Canadian swing, only beating the Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday.

Another important note from this game is the pre-game drama surrounding Semyon Varlamov. He was set to be the starter and led the team for warmups, but Ilya Sorokin was in net for the puck drop. After some fan chatter about a potential trade, it came out that Varlamov turned in a positive COVID test. The team is waiting for the results of a second COVID test from Varlamov to see how soon he can return. 

1st Period

Flames vs Islanders


Courtesy of The Canadian Press

Like the game in Edmonton, the Islanders came out strong and were getting some chances in the offensive zone. However it was the Flames who struck first, with Adam Ruzicka scoring in front of the net. The Islanders got caught staring at Rasmus Andersson with the puck, and didn’t get any sticks down when he dished off the puck to Ruzicka. A tripping penalty against Dillon Dube gave the Islanders their first and only successful power play chance. 

Noah Dobson scored on a slap shot from the blue line while the goalie was screened. The tied game didn’t last long, with Chris Tanev putting the Flames back up by one a minute later. This play started from a Oliver Wahlstrom turnover, which doesn’t bode well for his future playing time. Johnny Gaudreau set up Tanev in the high slot and took a shot that appeared to slightly deflect off of Zach Parise’s stick. 

2nd Period

The Islanders lost a lot of their early steam in this period. The Flames routinely got themselves great opportunities in front of Sorokin, it was a surprise they only got one goal in this period. That one came off the stick of their goal leader Andrew Mangiapane late in the period. Blake Coleman sent a cross ice pass to Ruzicka on the weak side, who then set up Mangiapane for a tip in wide open in front of the net.

This time the Islanders were quick to respond, with J.G. Pageau scoring a little over a minute after. Parise hit Pageau with a backhanded pass from behind the net to get him a wrist shot from the slot. The Islanders were given a power play shortly after, but didn’t generate any zone time or opportunities. The limited zone time was the story of this period, and it only got worse in the third. 

3rd Period

Flames vs Islanders
Courtesy of ESPN

This period was by far the worst period for the Islanders in this whole game. They couldn’t keep control of the puck and thus couldn’t maintain significant zone time. The Flames, meanwhile, had no problems creating opportunities. Erik Gudbranson took a shot from the circle that initially was called a no goal. After further review, the puck had just crossed the line enough to extend the Flame’s lead to 4-2. Later in the period, the Islanders left Elias Lindholm wide open in the slot for the fifth Flames goal of the night. 

Analysis

This performance pretty much sums up how the Islanders have been playing against playoff teams this season. They played significant chunks of this game in their own zone, and had a hard time maintaining possession. This reigned especially true as the game progressed, with the third period being a complete breakdown for the team. And on top of their inability to generate offense, their defense was also particularly sloppy. There were four Islanders by the net all watching the puck and completing missing Ruzicka down low. Mangiapane and Lindholm were also left wide open by the net, resulting in easy goals. 

This loss adds to an embarrassing 17 losses in 19 games against teams in a playoff position. It’s becoming abundantly clear that this team doesn’t have what it takes to be a contender themselves. They can’t consistently keep up with quality competition, and often look completely outpaced. Their next chance to try and pick up a win in this seemingly lost season will be Tuesday on the road against the Buffalo Sabres. 

Featured image courtesy of Terence Leung/2022 NHLI

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1 comment

Anonymous February 15, 2022 at 12:58 am

Your journalism and hockey knowledge is very weak. Suggestion, look for another job Justin. I truly hope you don’t make any money on the crap you write !

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