A win is a win, right? The answer is yes, but there was no way the Islanders should have left this game with points.
They were outworked in their own zone — for minutes on end — for the majority of the game. They were unable to make smart decisions in the offensive zone, which cost them some key opportunities on Saturday night.
They were puck-watching and flat-footed. They were completely lost in the defensive zone and even Thomas Greiss was having a hard time out there.
When Greiss was making saves, his rebound control was not strong. It seemed he was struggling to track the puck throughout this game.
One of those costly mistakes led to the game being knotted up at 2 since he could not corral a shot to his glove, which just sat in front of him. His decision was to poke the puck straight into the slot.
At that moment, Boone Jenner was able to pick up that loose puck and wristed it past Greiss into the back of the net.
But with his 33 saves he accumulated, he was named the first star of the game. It was a battle no doubt, a battle that Greiss ultimately won.
When the defensive pairs were given the opportunity to clear the puck out of the zone, they could not do it. Simple flips off the boards were not working and it was an ugly sight.
And the inability to clear the puck led to long, tiring shifts.
Usually, the elongated shifts tend to lead to an abundance of penalties. But the Islanders were able to control their sticks. The one penalty that was taken was a hook by Scott Mayfield, but Columbus was unable to score with the man advantage.
The Islanders did not have a chance to show off the fourth-best power play in the league in this one.
It was these sloppy plays in the defensive zone that led to a timeout called by Head Coach Barry Trotz just under three minutes into the second period. In Barry Trotz’s career, it’s rare to see him lose his cool on his players.
To the referees? Of course, but to the players, that is a rarity.
And last night he lost his marbles since he was not too fond of the team’s play.
The team responded rather well to his words, as they tightened up the defense and quietly blocked thirty-three Blue Jacket shots.
The Islanders were able to win it in overtime on a beautiful pass by Leddy to Nelson, who was able to wrist the puck into a wide-open Columbus net.
Four wins in a row, three of them coming in extra time. After a slow start, it seems that the Islanders are having to battle hard to get points, crucial points, as the team looks to climb the Metropolitan Division at a rapid pace.