New York Islanders 4, Blue Jackets 0 - Quick Thoughts
Well, Happy Birthday, Coach. Sorry your party was so lame.
- Both teams came out in "feel each other out mode," and the Jackets called on Curtis McElhinney to make some solid saves in the first three minutes.
- Matt Calvert took a not-ideal tripping penalty in the neutral zone that the Jackets killed, with some more help from CMac. The Islanders managed some sustained pressure but the Jackets stood tall. Midway through the opening period, the visitors held a 11-6 edge in shots.
- Blue Jackets earned their first power play of the night when Thomas Hickey hauls down Brandon Saad (while on 4-on-3) during an odd-man rush. Jackets generate a few shots, namely from Saad (save) and Ryan Johansen (blocked), but none find their way into the net. Not an extremely dangerous power play.
- During the PP, Scott Hartnell levels Franz Nielsen in front of the benches. Johnny Boychuck steps up and the two trade punches to draw five minutes apiece.
- The Islanders break through with 1:02 before intermission. Nikolay Kulemin cashed in in front of the net after a rebound finds its way to Marek Zidlicky behind the net, whose wraparound chance floated around the crease to Kulemin. To be fair, Kulemin worked for it. Fighting his way to the next, pushing off Prout and beating Campbell to the loose puck. 1-0 Islanders:
- The Islanders gifted the Blue Jackets an early power play in the second, tossing the puck over the boards for a two-minute minor. That’s a good thing, when you have more players on the ice…
- …but the visitors actually get the best chance of the Jackets’ advantage (and one of the better ones during the game), as Franz Nielsen flies the zone for a breakaway that McElhinney stops (twice). The Jackets managed four shots on the PP to the Islanders’ two.
- The Islanders broadcast called the action midway through the second "herky-jerky," and they weren't wrong as neither team could really find space or time in the other zone. Brandon Dubinsky and Boone Jenner each ran into their own set of neutral zone problems:
- As the period wore on, though, the home side began to generate some offense. Johansen snapped off a wrister through a screening defenseman with 5:17 to go, but Halak saw it enough to make the save. Shortly after, Dubi faked a shot and slid a pass to Foligno on the doorstop, only to find Halak across the crease in time to keep the Jackets scoreless.
- The Jackets took a 25-to-24 shot advantage into the locker room after two periods, but still trailed 1-0.
- Dubi nearly tied the game in the first 30 seconds after intermission. A puck bounced No. 17’s way off the boards into the high slot to the waiting winger, who fired off a wrist shot. Dubinsky’s shot trickled through Halak as the crowd held its breath, but the goaltender reached back and covered the puck inches before crossing the line.
- Another Islanders delay of game put the Jackets on the man advantage with just 1:22 into the frame. The Islanders stymied each zone entry to scattered boos that grew louder as the PP wore on. The CBJ managed only one shot from the point as the result of finding no time to ever set up in the zone.
- After a few seconds of five-on-five (on which the Jackets looked decent), the visitors took their third delay of game penalty at the 4:10 mark.
- The Jackets didn’t threaten much on that power play. The good news, though, is that another one followed 23 seconds after the second PP of the period expired (and the second straight for Brock Nelson).
- That power play? No goals, but Boone very nearly cashed in. Between this attempt and Dubinsky's shot early in the period, the Jackets were very, very close to a pair of goals in the final period. Horseshoes, hand grenades, etc.
- That chance became more excruciating a few minutes later. Ryan Johansen skated around the O-zone before passing to Cody Goloubef at the blue line. Goloubef sent the puck back to Murray, Thomas Hickey picked it off and backhanded a breakaway goal. 2-0 Islanders.
- Cal Clutterbuck snapped a shot over CMac's left shoulder a little over two minutes later. 3-0 Islanders.
- Yet another man advantage for the home side yielded nothing. Richards pulled McElhinney with five minutes left (where have we seen that before?) for a 6-on-4, but the Jackets spent most of the power play trying to keep the puck away from New York. CMac stayed on the bench after the penalty expired, Tavares beat Goloubef and Prout in a footrace and converted in close. 4-0 Islanders.
- Columbus had 37 shots to New York's 29. Dubinsky led the team with six, while Davids Clarkson and Savard followed with five apiece. The bulk of your offense probably isn't going to come from Clarkson and Savard.
- Six power plays, zero goals. Nearly half of the third period was spent with an extra man on the ice, and the CBJ never buzzed, never set up shop, never really threatened aside from a few point shots and some net-crashing.
- Who looked good? Story of the season: Most every player had his moments...and most every player had a few cringe-inducing plays. Goloubef's turnover late in the third was flat-out horrific. Hartnell tried to fire up the boys, Dubinsky had some shots...but the Jackets lost 4-0 and allowed three goals in the third while wasting four power plays. That's probably all you need to know.
- Four-game road swing starts Thursday at Minnesota. Wonder how this team will look a week from now.