3 Things We Learned From Thursday Night’s Islanders Win

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In what is becoming an alarming pattern the Islanders again escape an ugly game with two points. Thursday night the boys in white played another sloppy all around game, but tenacity and good goaltending earned them the important overtime win.


The first thing we learned last night is that the Islanders are finally winning games they have no business winning. With five wins in six tries to start the road trip the points are piling up, but the play has not been ideal.

These are the kinds of games that were chalked up as losses in years past, but this team has turned a corner and they now find ways to win games, which is important during the regular season.

While they continue to earn points, with only 20 games left and the Islanders playing subpar hockey there is cause for concern. It is reassuring that they were able to grind out a win in Winnipeg, but the team’s overall play has to improve down the stretch.


Ryan Strome can use a game off. With Mikhail Grabovski nearing return and the addition of Shane Prince there is an excess of Islanders’ forwards now and every game Jack Capuano will have to make a decision on who to dress and who to sit. It can be assumed that Shane Prince was going to be the first player heading to the press box, until he played his first two games as an Islander. The 23-year-old Rochester, NY native has impressed, he is not a superstar but he is a serviceable forward with speed and apparently a nose for the net.

On the other hand, Strome has disappointed in his sophomore season and there is much room for improvement. At times he seems to be all but lost on the ice and continuously fails to contribute game after game. The 22-year-old has ample talent and a promising future, but the Islanders need him to get back on track sooner than later. The Mississauga native was at his best when returning from Bridgeport, which leads me to believe that a night in the press box can do him some good. Look at the game from a new perspective and take a night to get his mind right.



New additions. Ryan Pulock and Shane Prince have both impressed and provided a boost since their insertion into the lineup. Pulock played in his third game on Thursday after making his debut Sunday night in Edmonton and has improved the Islanders’ blue line tremendously. The rookie defenseman has shown incredible poise and patience with the puck offensively and has impressed on the rush, he can be looked at as a fourth forward when he is on the ice. Pulock can still improve his defensive game but that will come with time, and does not concern me any longer.

After being traded for at the deadline and making his debut Tuesday night in Vancouver Prince has impressed with his speed and tenacity. His acceleration was compared to that of Michael Grabner during last night’s game and speed like that can be deadly. Thursday night in Winnipeg the 23-year-old’s speed and tenacity on the puck drew a penalty and later in the game allowed him to knock the puck out of the air and pass Dustin Byfuglien and beat Jet’ goaltender Michael Hutchinson five-hole to give the Islanders a 2-1 lead.

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