Everyone knew the Islanders lost talent this offseason. Jack Capuano referred to the production that departed for Detroit, Buffalo and Toronto again in his postgame scrum after the team's 3-2 shootout loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday. But one factor that was certainly overlooked was that his club may have gone from one of the better shootout teams in the league to one of the worst. Well, Thursday night's skills competition shined a bright light on that shortcoming, and it wasn't pretty.
Where Frans Nielsen, the best statistical shootout performer of all time, would usually lead off the shootout, Cal Clutterbuck took his place and missed. Josh Bailey went second, in a spot usually reserved for Kyle Okposo, and had Michal Neuvirth beat low, but shot it right into the path of Neuvirth's glove. Strike two.
By the time Claude Giroux unpantsed Jaro Halak with a sweet deke, the game was on the stick of John Tavares. And while that's normally a spot no one would mind, the fact is that JT has been brutal in shootouts for the better part of two seasons. He once again fell short, as he came in slow, made a bunch of moves, and eventually had the puck poke checked away from Neuvirth to seal a 3-2 win for the Flyers.