Oliver Wahlstrom, New York Islanders take care of business against Sharks

Last night’s game was almost exactly how the New York Islanders were supposed to play.

The San Jose Sharks seem to be one of first contenders in the Connor Bedard contest—Connor Bedard and Connor McDavid, two Connors torching the league for the next ten years or more — and also traveled coast to coast, as the Anaheim Ducks had done before Saturday’s game. Kevin Kurz, who covered the Sharks for a decade before coming to New York, tweeted the two Saturday night and last night that going west to east costs more than the other way around and that the islands may have benefited from being the first opponent of the two Californian teams when they reach the east coast.

But when playing a trap game, they must not step directly into the trap. The first half was a bit sleepy to start, culminating in conceding the opening goal and ending the period 1-0 behind. However, Casey Cizikas and the fourth line provided the energy to drag the Isles into the fight, and they tied the game before the end of the period. They didn’t look back from there, controlling the second and third periods. Even when San Jose tied the game again at 2-2, it didn’t seem like it would be long before the Islanders regained the lead. Indeed, Oliver Wahlstrom’s winning snipe on the post came less than two minutes later, just after a face-off in the offensive zone created by the fourth line hemming the Sharks.

Either way, it was refreshing to watch, and I have to say I enjoy watching the (not really) new, more attacking team, even though it will inevitably lead to more mistakes like the one that led to the San Jose’s second goal.

The New Jersey Devils will follow Thursday night before heading to Florida this weekend.

Islander News

Recaps from last night:
  • Wahlstrom scored two great goals last night and nearly added one late for the hat trick. [LHH]
  • Semyon Varlamov, who was making his first start of the season, took the win with solid play. [3 Takeaways]
  • Zach Parise scored which means he won’t have to wait until December to score this year. [NHL | Rapid Recap]
  • Wahlstrom, according to his own coach, “plays free”. Free of what, I’m inclined to ask – maybe it was an area of ​​disconnect between Lane Lambert and Barry Trotz. But Wahlstrom seems more confident this year. [amNY | NY Post]
  • Also, it should be noted that Lambert polished his lines last night and Wahlstrom scored two goals shortly after moving to play with Anders Lee and Brock Nelson. Those of you in the comments who banged the drum to bring these three together might have been onto something. [Newsday]
Other Island Bits:
  • The performance of the fourth line in the first two games they all played together showed that they have even more to offer. [The Athletic]
  • Unlike Roxanne, Islanders defenders have to run the red light. Noah Dobson, Robin Salo and even Scott Mayfield answered the bell. [Islanders]
  • Alex Romanov hasn’t lit the light yet, but he’s hit a lot of people and blocked even more shots. [Newsday]
  • In a prediction of who the top 100 players will be this season, Ilya Sorokin is no. 82; no other islanders appear from 51 to 100. [ESPN] Mathew Barzal, however, is no. 50, and Anders Lee got an honorable mention. [ESPN]
  • In a league where you can be out of playoff contention by the end of October, it’s always hard to get anything meaningful out of October’s results. But so far, the defense of the islands, according to the expected goal model, hasn’t been good, which makes Sorokin’s performance all the more incredible. [TSN]

Somewhere else

Last night’s NHL scores include the Vancouver Canucks blowing another multi-goal lead, this time to the Columbus Blue Jackets, although they earned at least a point for their troubles. Also, the Devils came back against the Ducks and the Ottawa Senators handed the Boston Bruins their first loss in a wild game.

  • The Board of Governors met yesterday in New York. [NHL] Gary Bettman has revealed to reporters that if players pay off their escrow debt by the end of the fiscal year, and there’s a good chance they will, then the salary cap could go up to 4 million. dollars next season. However, if the debt remains at the end of the fiscal year, the limit will only increase by $1 million. [NHL]
  • Evgeny Kuznetsov only received a one-game suspension for Kyle Burroughs, the Canucks’ intentionally and aggressively high-stick defenseman (and former Islanders prospect). He is rather lucky. [NHL | Japers’ Rink]
  • There’s a rumble in Pierre LeBrun’s stomach: He’s written about when Patrick Kane could be traded from the Chicago Blackhawks and Michael Bunting potentially signing an eight-year contract to curtail the AAV. [The Athletic]
  • John Tortorella has the Philadelphia Flyers sitting 3-0-0, including last night’s comeback win in the Tampa Bay Lightning’s home opener. He led a hard reset for the team. [ESPN]
  • Bruce Cassidy talks about coaching the Vegas Golden Knights and what he learned from Darryl Sutter, who coached him as a minor in the late 1980s. [TSN]
  • The Detroit Red Wings will be without Tyler Bertuzzi for at least the next month; he has an upper body injury. [ESPN]
  • The NHL has released its first-ever Diversity and Inclusion Report, and let’s just say, as you might expect, hockey doesn’t seem to be for everyone just yet. [The Athletic]
  • Playing for the Los Angeles Kings and living in Southern California rejuvenated Philip Danault. [NHL]
  • The first week of the year always comes with an overreaction, as if it’s too early to put Toronto Maple Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe in the hot seat. [Canoe (?)]
  • Anson Carter has had several jobs in his life, and now he can add co-owner of a hockey team, the ECHL Atlanta Gladiators, for whom Bode Wilde plays. [NHL]
  • The Salming family have shared the details of Toronto legend Borje Salming’s brutal battle with ALS. [TSN Video]

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