The Islanders earned their first regulation win against the Kings in Los Angeles in more than a decade and the bottom-six has earned well-deserved recognition.The only thing better than seeing a New York Islanders regulation win in Los Angeles are the names of the players on the scoresheet.
Coming into the 2018-19 season, the Islanders knew they had potential in place to score. Given the additions and subtractions of the offseason, it was unrealistic to expect the offensive-caliber seen under former head coach Doug Weight, but it was clear going into the season who was expected to produce.
When Valtteri Filppula scored his second goal of the game and the Islanders first short-handed goal of the season, he took sole possession of the team’s scoring lead right after Casey Cizikas had with game’s first tally.
Filppula arrived on the Islanders as the first of a following series of free agency signings. He was hailed as one of the Islanders worst statistical additions of the offseason and now sits with four goals and six points in as many games.
The best part is, it’s not the only surprise on the Isles roster so far.
Komarov had himself a night with his first goal in an Islander uniform and two points. Cizikas has three goals through the first five games after scoring seven all of last season. Matt Martin is one goal shy from matching last season’s total of three in only five games.
Most bizarre of all, however, is that on a night where the Islanders scored seven goals, Mathew Barzal had just two assists. For as good as the bottom-six have been to start the year, some of the big name guys have yet to find their firsts.
Jordan Eberle scored one of his two assists last night, still visibly yearning for his first goal. Anthony Beauvillier is in the same situation, both in trying to find his first goal and first point. Eberle’s struggles haven’t come far from poor play, and the same can be said for Beau.
Though they’re inevitably going to break out of the funk they find themselves in, the Islanders have nothing but good things to say about their contested offseason additions.
Robin Lehner had another fantastic night in net that was cut short from a suspect shot taken directly to the mask. Thomas Greiss replaced him in net at around the nine-minute mark in the third period.
#Isles win 7-2 in LA. Very impressive third period. Concern about Lehner, who was not on bench after being hit with shot and coming out of the game.
— Andrew Gross (@AGrossNewsday) October 19, 2018
Lehner was only playing in his third game of the season, but there was a lot to like from the sample of work he put forward, including last night’s .933 SV%. If Lehner has to miss significant time, Christopher Gibson would likely make his way back up to the NHL for a short time.
Expect to see more information about Lehner in the next day leading up to the conclusion of their road trip in San Jose on Saturday at 10:30 p.m. ET.
As the top-six continues their adjustment under Barry Trotz, the Islanders depth has proven they can be relied upon some nights, and that’s exactly what the Islanders need.