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yave1964

Watching an Islanders game

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I have had the (mis)fortune to watch a couple of Islanders games more or less from start to finish in the past several weeks mostly because I wanted to see how this team is still pushing the Capitals for the division title in this rough and highly skilled division. The first was a 4-0 victory over Vancouver, the second was a 2-0 win over Columbus. 

  They were easily, bar none hands down the most god awful boring games of the season. Nothing close. 

 In the first game, the first half of the first period was back and forth but after the Isles went up 2-0 they simply quit playing offense, whenever the Canucks got the puck the two wingers played like defenseman, the defense dropped back along the sidewalls whenever the pucj was chipped in and the center sat up in front of the net to help the goalie out. The Canucks mustered a ton of shots but all long distance, all clearly seen by the netminder (I think Lehner was in that night) who would paddle it ahead to the center who flipped it out to center ice where the Canucks would regroup. Zero attempts by the Islanders to actually move the puck, they just frustrated the Canucks by forcing them ouside and then flipping the puck out to center ice after a harmless hot.

 

  Then Columbus a week ago, same damn thing. Pulock scored on a first period blast, a really good shot and from midway through the second on the Isles went into a shell, the wingers forcing the attackers outside,  the defense helping them and the center standing in front of his goalie to make certain nobody set up a screen. It was literally like a 5 on 5 penalty kill once they got the lead. Anders Lee scored an empty netter late. Matthew Barzal and Seth Jones seemed to be playing catch for the entire third period, the puck would end up on Barzal's stick, he would flip it out to center ice where Jones would chase it down, he would pass it in, a ferocious forecheck would ensue, Barzal would end up with the puck and simply flip it back out to center ice, Jones would chase it down...…… Barzal to Jones must have occurred ten times, zero exaggeration. He would flip it out just far enough to get a line change but not far enough to risk an icing.

 

  Speaking of Barzal, I admit I haven't watched him much in his nearly two years but WOW can that kid play. He has totally bought into Trotz system and is an absolute beast. Not the best fantasy player but wow do you know when he is on the ice. He doesn't have to score to be noticed by his play, just a great two way forward, his two way play may be the most underrated in all of hockey.

 

 It dawned on me finally where I had seen this before, this is EXACTLY the same system that Trotz used with an undermanned lack of skill Nashville Preds for all those years, get a lead, protect the goalie, protect the puck. It is boring but effective, at least in the regular season, it didn't ever translate tot he postseason and I doubt it will this year for the Isles, the postseason is when elite talent shines and the Isles are a system team, a devastatingly effective if quite boring system but the entire team is bought in, sacrificing their bodies, hitting, playing defense, hell even Andrew Ladd went down and blocked a Werenski shot at one point.

 

  Give Trotz credit where it is due, he took over Washington and adjusted his style to the talent and now with the Isles he has adjusted yet again. Last year Lehner and Greiss were lit up and the Isles defense was raked over the coals by the press and fans alike, this year with the exact same defense in front of them they are two of the leagues top goalies. It is not an accident, it is Trotz boring system at work. It is like watching paint dry but as a fan if you told me my Wings could win ugly or lose pretty, give me the ugly wins any day of the week.

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Best goaltending in the nhl also.

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      I have had the (mis)fortune to watch a couple of Islanders games more or less from start to finish in the past several weeks mostly because I wanted to see how this team is still pushing the Capitals for the division title in this rough and highly skilled division. The first was a 4-0 victory over Vancouver, the second was a 2-0 win over Columbus.    They were easily, bar none hands down the most god awful boring games of the season. Nothing close.   In the first game, the first half o

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