New York Islanders trounce the Winnipeg Jets to ring in 2017
Dec 31, 2016; Winnipeg, Manitoba, CAN; Winnipeg Jets goalie Michael Hutchinson (34) looks to make a save as New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) screens in the crease during the third period at MTS Centre. New York Islanders win 6-2. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Islanders were relentless Saturday night in pummeling the Winnipeg Jets 6-2 to ring in the new year. After Nikolay Kulemin started the scoring there was no hesitating in their offense minus one defensive gaffe on the powerplay. 

  • New York Islanders (15-15-6, 36 pts)
  • Winnipeg Jets (17-19-3, 37 pts)
  • NHL Final, Box Score
  • MTS Center, Winnipeg, Manitoba

Turning the page

The New York Islanders are now 4-1-0 in their last five games.

After a brief stretch that saw them go 0-4-1 the Islanders have flipped the script, finishing 2016 on a high note with a 6-2 trounce over Andrew Ladd‘s former team. Thomas Greiss stood on his head stopping all but two of the Jets shots and solidifying his role on the Islanders as the most reliable netminder.

Scoring Summary

Nikolay Kulemin coming off of a similar rush where he scored against the Capitals a few nights prior starter the scoring for New York.

Midway through the first period John Tavares registered his 11th tally of the season on a brutal turnover and a big assist from Josh Bailey. Bailey had his team-leading 18th and then 19th assist on Tavares’ and Anders Lee‘s goals respectively.

Shane Prince registered his fifth tally of the year after a beautiful behind-the-net feed from Ryan Strome and a secondary assist from Brock Nelson.

Strome would get a tally of his own with just under five minutes left in the second, and Shawn Matthias cut into the Islanders lead with a shorthanded goal to end the second period 4-1.

Lee registered his 14th of the season and Ladd got his fourth goal in four games to help bury the Jets.

In spite of a Nikolaj Ehlers goal late in the third, the Islanders held on to preserve their fourth road win of the season and a stellar performance by Greiss.

The Islanders will ring in the new year on a high note and hope to carry this momentum heading into 2017.

Looking towards 2017

With the 16-17 season all but lost, the Islanders are seeing a lot of promise out of their team. Despite being eight points out of the last playoff seed, the Islanders have been turning the page in their play as of late.

Since a minor skid that saw them undo the work they did to go 5-0-1 to 0-4-1, the Islanders have won four of their last five.

Ladd has finally seemed to have found a scoring touch, and minus the Minnesota game, the defense overall has been improving.

With starter Halak waived, the Islanders will likely be able to rely on steadier goaltending going forward from Greiss, despite JF Berube largely being a question mark in terms of NHL skill.

The rest of the season will be a total question mark for the Isles. The Islanders will use the waiving of Halak to gauge what they have in Berube, and it’s a safe bet to assume that barring a drastic drop in play from either goalie that Halak won’t be back up with the Islanders.

The Islanders first game of 2017 will be against the Colorado Avalanche on January 6.

Grew up a diehard Islanders and Mets fan based out of Northern New Jersey. Concluding my Broadcast Communications degree at William Paterson University. WP Sportsdesk member, Stan Fischler correspondent, music buff and total Star Wars freak. Follow my social media handles to learn more. Matt Di Giacomo is a Staff Writer for the Islanders on Elite Sports NY. He encourages team discussion. Tweet him @mdigiacESNY and check out his reviews on YouTube.