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Islanders Losing Streak Continutes with Poor Weekend

Islanders Losing Streak Continutes with Poor Weekend

The Islanders have most of their starters back from the COVID list, but it has done nothing to help their losing streak. The streak has increased to 11 straight losses after losing to the Detroit Red Wings on the road and the Chicago Blackhawks at home. A season that once held Stanley Cup expectations continues to completely fall apart. Here’s a look at the poor weekend of New York Islanders hockey. 

Detroit Red Wings: (4-3 F/OT)

Islanders Losing Streak Continutes with Poor Weekend


Courtesy of Getty Images

Of the two games this weekend, this one was arguably the most frustrating. The Islanders’ offense came to play, but the defense did not. Islanders got off to an early lead from a Cal Clutterbuck shorthanded goal. But a mere three minutes later the lead was erased after Filip Hronek scored off a lost faceoff in the Islanders zone. Then two minutes after that, a bad turnover from Anthony Beauvillier helped lead to a Sam Gagner goal to put Detroit up 2-1. A rare power-play goal from Oliver Wahlstrom in the second tied the game back up. But again, three minutes later the Islanders let up an odd-man rush to allow Giavani Smith to take back the lead. Another Wahlstrom power-play goal sent this game to overtime, but the Islanders found no success there. Rookie standout Mortiz Seider won the game for the Red Wings off a marvelous one-timer.

What Happened?

Despite the loss being in overtime, that’s not where the Islanders lost this game. Sloppy turnovers in regulation created two of the three Red Wing goals. In terms of the offense, you really can’t ask more of this year’s team. This is only the third occasion this year where they’ve managed to score over two goals in a game. A defensive-minded team needs to play smart and preserve that lead, but that simply didn’t happen in this game. What’s even more frustrating is the two power-play goals being wasted, because any Islanders fan knows how seldomly that happens. The only positive development in this game is Oliver Wahlstrom continuing to look like the real deal as a scoring winger in the NHL. 

Chicago Blackhawks: (3-2 F/SO)

Islanders Losing Streak Continutes with Poor Weekend
Courtesy of Getty Images

This one really felt like it was going to break the streak. The Islanders trailed early off a power-play deflection goal from Brandon Hagel. They answered back in the second with a deflection power-play goal of their own off the stick of Jean-Gabriel Pageau. Dylan Strome gave the Blackhawks the lead back in the third off a rather unfortunate play which saw a deflected pass from Sebastian Aho fall right on Strome’s stick. It seemed as though the Islanders were going to fail to score over one goal again at home until the dying seconds. With three seconds left in regulation, Noah Dobson took a nice feed from Mat Barzal and ripped a wrist shot past Marc-Andre Fleury to send the game to overtime. After a rather uneventful overtime period, the game progressed to a shootout. There the Islanders went 0/3, losing the shootout on a Patrick Kane wrist shot. 

What Happened?

This was mostly a well-played game for the Islanders, which makes the result all that more disappointing. Their defensive play was relatively sound, backed by a great 24-save performance by Semyon Varlamov. Even the offense was generating chances, but they couldn’t net a five-on-five goal for their life. If there was one big reason the Islanders lost this game, it was their inability to finish five on five. Pageau’s goal was on the power play and Dobson’s came with the empty net six on five. The five on five offense, while improving, still is struggling to finish their chances. A third regulation goal would’ve been a significant difference-maker and might’ve even snapped the streak for the Islanders. Even in overtime, the team didn’t get a lot going on offense despite long periods of controlling the puck. The Islanders need to elevate their offensive game if they hope to snap this streak anytime soon. 

What’s Next?

The Islanders have the ultimate “prove it” game on Tuesday against the Ottawa Senators. The Senators currently sit at last place in the entire Eastern Conference. A confident win against them will at least give some glimmer of hope the team could improve past this level of play. A regulation loss would put the Islanders in a tie for last place in the east. Even an overtime loss would be demoralizing against a last-place team in the midst of a rebuild. If the Islanders can’t find a way to win this game, fans ought to stop watching the standings and start looking at Shane Wright highlights.

Featured image courtesy of Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

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