The New York Islanders impressive knocked off the New York Rangers.
The New York Islanders kept their feet moving.
When you continue to move your feet, good things will happen. Throughout the entirety of their opening night intracity showdown, the New York Islanders never stopped skating, and it paid off. They were the first to every loose puck, and when the puck was not on their stick, they went and got it.
This led to many great offensive rushes, including this goal by captain Anders Lee that gave the Isles a 2-0 lead.
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What moving your feet also does is it forces your opponent to take penalties, lazy penalties. The New York Rangers were Exhibit A.
Eight times the Islanders sent out their power-play unit, coming through twice with the man advantage. During training camp, the Islanders worked hard to create a stronger gameplan with the man up, as the powerplay was a major disappointment during the regular season (17.3%) and even worse in the bubble (15.4%). Although the power play struggled after scoring the two goals, it definitely was a step in the right direction.
Islanders’ first-line center Mat Barzal had the skates working tonight, as besides scoring a filthy goal, he drew two penalties and made life miserable for the Rangers.
Even if an opponent stops skating, Barzal surely won’t.
Brock Nelson on the powerplay got the scoring going less than three minutes into the game, with Lee picking up the team’s second power-play goal with about five minutes to go in the second period.
What you do not see in this play is Lee’s hard work to retrieve and possess the puck to establish the power-play scheme.
Technically speaking, the Isles powerplay is currently at 25-percent. But diving in more in-depth, even though they did not capitalize more, the Islanders controlled the puck and pace of play.
It was clear that the Rangers were getting tired from chasing the puck all night and playing shorthanded for just under 13 minutes.
As I mentioned in my last piece, once the Islanders get a lead, they are very hard to beat. And that takes us to our next takeaway.