This week was far from pretty for the New York Islanders. Besides for losing their star player, John Tavares, for a few games due to illness, the team could not produce enough offense to support their overall strong defensive play. The Isles suffered losses to both the Buffalo Sabres and the Montreal Canadiens but were able to muster a victory against the New Jersey Devils. In the three games played this week, the blue and orange only managed four goals which is just not going to cut it more times than not.
I advise Islanders’ nation to proceed with caution and take this week’s three stars with a grain of salt. These gentlemen had respectable performances but displayed nothing to start doing a dance over. When you lose more games than you win and only find the back of the net four times in nine periods of hockey, it is normally quite difficult to point out three star-worthy individuals.
Without any further ado, I present the New York Islanders’ three stars of the week!
First Star: Casey Cizikas
Out of all the men wearing blue and orange sweaters, Cizikas had the best week. In Sunday’s loss to the Sabres, he was able to obstruct Linus Ullmark’s view enough which led to Calvin de Haan’s shot finding the back of the net. Cizikas also provided the game-winning goal with 2:12 to go in a hard-fought victory against the Devils. Not even his heroics could make the black and white third-jersey look good but that is a story for a different day. The statistics for the week might be not to gawk at but Cizikas’s energy and effort continue to be a bright spot for an Isles team that is in desperate need of some sparks.
Second Star: Calvin de Haan
With a 2-1 victory and a 2-1 loss this week, it is apparent that the Islanders played strong enough defense in at least two of the three games this week. De Haan played a huge role in the defensive effort preventing opportunities from the opposition and laying out hits. In addition, he scored the only goal against Buffalo. Unfortunately, nobody else decided to have a productive night offensively and the Isles suffered a loss.
Third Star: Thomas Greiss
The backup goaltender for the Isles receives the third star this week simply because nobody else deserves it. Greiss only played in one game where he was able to stop 20 of 22 shots. Although the Islanders could not come away with a victory, it was not due to poor play from the net minder. If the opposition can only record two goals, it should be expected that your team can beat or at least match that number. Greiss has been a very solid backup for New York to this point and hopefully the offense will be able to provide him with more support in his next outing.
As I mentioned, awarding stars to any Islanders’ player was an extremely tough task this week. The team straight up stunk on ice and is having difficulty living up to the high expectations for this season. Luckily, the NHL season is still early and there is time to turn things around. The blue and orange will look to start their bounce back Sunday evening against the Boston Bruins.
John Gove is an experienced hockey writer who admires the game at all levels. Currently, John is a contributor for The Hockey Writers, covering the Dallas Stars.