If only some games were 30 minutes rather than the full 60. The Islanders came flying out of the gate, but, thanks to some inconsistent goaltending, never hit full speed. What should have been a triumphant return home was another embarrassment at the hands of a non-playoff team.
- New York Islanders (32-25-11, 75 points)
- Carolina Hurricanes (28-27-11, 67 points)
- NHL Final, Box Score
- Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
An awkward homecoming
On the first of a back-to-back series with the Carolina Hurricanes the Islanders dropped a very regrettable game by a score of 8-4. Eight goals, you did not read that incorrectly.
The Hurricanes have given the Islanders fits in the past, and entering a situation where the Islanders played their first home game in nearly three weeks this was one that could have been placed in the “must win” column. Instead, the goaltending let them down tremendously and the rarely played JF Berube reminded fans why it is the organization had little-to-no faith in the young rookie.
The fact remains that the fascination with this rookie must come to a conclusion, and if he wanted to prove anyone otherwise this was a game that should have been it. A nationally televised showing of what the 25-year-old netminder can do. Berube was exposed, letting in two goals in under 30 seconds each in the first period.
The second period wasn’t much better to him. After Calvin deHaan put the Islanders in front with a sneaky powerplay goal, Berube let in two very save-able pucks, one high-glove side and the other an embarrassing five-hole shot that should never have seen netting.
That was all Doug Weight and the fans would see of Berube. Thomas Greiss came in after the goal against to meet the cheers of fans who led choruses of “We want Jaro!” after the two goals against Berube.
But unfortunately Greiss did not fare much better.
The first shot he faced was a goal from Justin Faulk to make it 5-3, then while the Islanders were on the powerplay Jacob Slavin broke past Brock Nelson to make it 6-3 Carolina, capping off a four goal second period for the Canes.
— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) March 14, 2017
Despite a very pretty steal from Anthony Beauvillier and a tip in goal from Josh Ho-Sang, the Islanders did not have enough to come back from a horrific second period.Weight wouldn’t commit to a starter for tomorrow’s game, and why would he? Neither goalie proved anything after a fundamental breakdown in Brooklyn.
The players had some particularly choice words for how to describe the effort in the post-game.
Berube: "It's an embarrassment to myself, my teammates. These are huge points for us. I felt ready before the game."
— Arthur Staple (@StapeNewsday) March 14, 2017
Berube’s situation is not entirely his fault. His breakdowns and inconsistency is all tied back to how he has been used in the past two full seasons with the New York Islanders which can be summarized with three adjectives: underutilized, under-performed, and overrated.
Despite not seeing much NHL action this season, JF Berube’s performance this season was, and continues to be inexcusable.
The Islanders will attempt to earn two points in Carolina Tuesday night with the starter TBD.