The New York Islanders withstood a barrage of shots and ground out a confidence-boosting 5-3 victory against the Sharks.
- New York Islanders 5 (4-3-1, 9 pts)
- San Jose Sharks 3 (3-4-0, 6 pts)
- NHL, Final, Box Score
- Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York
It wasn’t the cleanest win, but the New York Islanders are visibly gaining confidence in their game.
From the get-go, the Islanders were able to trade off chances with San Jose who were more effective in maintaining a strong forecheck. Head coach Doug Weight commended his squad’s first-period effort, calling it the “best period of the season.”
Per Cory Wright of NHL.com:
“We looked a little faster and we looked like we were playing with confidence for most of the game,” Head Coach Doug Weight said. “It was refreshing. I think we were getting a little stagnant in the last couple of games. We did a great job for the most part of getting pucks in with speed.”
Notable contributors include the dangler by Josh Bailey, which left everyone in the arena dazzled. Anders Lee had a prominent game, banging in the first tying goal for the Islanders and Mathew Barzal — who broke through and netted his first NHL goal this past Thursday — played with finesse in Saturday night’s contest, setting up Andrew Ladd for the initial go-ahead goal.
Ryan Pulock, who played in just his second game last night, slotted in for another 9:23 of ice-time including 1:37 on a scoreless powerplay.
The powerplay was ironically the time when the Islanders applied the least amount of pressure. Hesitancy to shoot the puck as well as some misplaced passing cost the Islanders a lot of zone time.
A week ago today, the Islanders had just edged the San Jose Sharks at the SAP Center earning their second win but raising many questions in doing so. The difference in one week was two more wins for the Islanders, and a better understanding of their roster.
There’s abundant chemistry that’s building in the locker room, slowly. Especially in the youngster Mathew Barzal, who has slowly looked more and more comfortable at the NHL level. Thursday night’s contest against the Rangers was fantastic, and he outdid himself tonight.
Weight’s line shuffling has been a subject of discussion as of late. Former Head Coach Jack Capuano was notorious for bizarre and heavily-scrutinized combinations, and to a degree, Weight has done the same.
The difference being, the new lines are clicking.
The abundance knowledge of his staff oozes confidence in his coaching style and immediate results.
The Islanders will look to start their first winning streak of the season against the Arizona Coyotes on Tuesday night. The Coyotes are winless so far through eight games.