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New York Islanders Fall Flat in Biggest Game of Season (Highlights)

The New York Islanders came out flat in the biggest game of the season.

  • New York Islanders 3 (35-29-12, 82 points)
  • Philadelphia Flyers 6 (37-32-8, 82 points)
  • NHL, Final, Box Score
  • Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA

If there were a manual for how to come out flat in crucial games, the New York Islanders would have written it.

There’s just no way to sugarcoat it: after losing the last two, the Islanders entered Thursday night’s contest with the season on the line. Now… a valiant effort, no matter the result, is acceptable, albeit disappointing. But the Isles put up no fight, no desperation, no nothing. In the biggest game of the season, they came out flat.

This isn’t just disappointing. It’s simply unacceptable.

People will talk about playoff implications — oh, the odds of them making it are practically zero, they’ll say — but that’s not what should bug them. Roughly half the league doesn’t make it each given year, and the Isles have the right to miss it.

Here’s the problem: there’s nothing more indicative of a team’s lack of will than getting thoroughly outworked from the first whistle to the last.

Doug Weight has garnered a whole lot of praise since assuming the head coaching responsibilities earlier this season — and rightfully so. But he, and the rest of his team, shouldn’t escape the deserved criticism that will be levied their way in the coming days.

Neither should general manager Garth Snow, who’s been proving his detractors right this season. His job was to assemble a team worthy of the postseason, and unless something drastic occurs, he’ll have failed for the seventh time in eleven seasons.

It’s time to make some changes. Now.

He’s baaaaaack… Defenseman Johnny Boychuk returned to the lineup for the first time since sustaining a lower-body injury in early March. He was, well… maybe we shouldn’t talk about it.

Of significance… Cal Clutterbuck’s second-period goal was the one hundredth of his career. He was stuck at ninety-nine since December 27.

Alrighty then… the Isles outshot Philly 22-3 in the second period, but managed only a single goal. Some of it was Steve Mason, but most of it was an inability to light the lamp.

Let’s be real… Thomas Greiss wasn’t great, but neither was the team’s defense. That’s the point we’ve been trying to make these past couple of weeks: soft goals are the fault of the goalies, while goals resulting from poor defensive positioning are not.

With the loss… the Isles drop to six points behind the Bruins for the final wild card spot, but with an extra game in hand. It’s going to take more than a hail mary for New York to leapfrog the three teams ahead of them.

Coming up next… the Isles return to Barclays Center to take on the New Jersey Devils on Friday night.

Justin Weiss is a staff editor at Elite Sports New York, where he covers the New York Islanders and Brooklyn Cyclones. In 2016, he received a Quill Award for Freelance Journalism. He has written for the Long Island Herald, FanSided and YardBarker.