Andy Graziano, SNY.TV Twitter
The New York Islanders lost in regulation for the first time in seven games under interim head coach Doug Weight (5-1-1) on Friday night in Detroit, falling to the Red Wings, 5-4, in a game that featured some lackadaisical defense and critical mental errors that cost New York one of its games in hand on the Philadelphia Flyers.
- New York is still five points back of the Flyers for the second and final wild card spot in the Eastern conference, with three games in hand. Sportsclubstats took 10 percent off the Islanders' playoff chances with the loss, dropping them to 35 percent, as Carolina, Florida and New Jersey all picked up points last night. Needless to say, a win tonight in Brooklyn over the Canes and it's not the end of the world.
- Hard to fault Thomas Greiss, and nobody should, for last night. Left on an island and a couple of fluky deflection goals was more than enough to put a statistical blemish on what has been an outstanding run for the newly signed goaltender.
- And speaking of that new contract, an outstanding job by general manager Garth Snow, who has had a rough year to put it lightly, by getting Greiss locked up at a very affordable 3-year, $3.3 million dollar deal. He has more than earned it and suffered silently through the calamity that was the three-goaltender circus. The bridge, possibly to Ilya Sorokin, has been built.
- Easy to see the breakdowns on each of the Detroit goals last night as the Islanders took the evening off from everything they've been so good at the past ten games or so. Luke Glendening left alone in the slot gets a double deflection. Darren Helm loses Thomas Hickey after Thomas Tatar outworks Casey Cizikas. Anthony Mantha on a bad Jason Chimera giveaway just inside Isles blueline. Henrik Zetterberg allowed to cruise into the slot unimpeded for a great look at Greiss and the game winner in the final 30 seconds on another double deflection.
- Speaking of the game winner, Ryan Strome with a horrendous icing just prior, setting up the faceoff that John Tavares simply needs to bear down better on. Detroit captain Zetterberg was allowed to win the draw way too easily, and then Tavares and Josh Bailey both went to the middle instead of the boards to cut off DeKeyser's advance.
- Each of the next three games is a huge "four-point" game, if you will. Carolina tonight, Toronto on Monday then Philadelphia on Thursday.
- New York's last game before the March 1 (3 p.m. ET) trade deadline will be four days prior, on Feb. 25 against the Columbus Blue Jackets, the third game of a nine-game road trip for the team. So, Snow will have plenty of time to decipher whether he ends up buying or selling based on the standings at the time.
- Given the current set price for Matt Duchene, whom the Islanders are very much still interested in, it's hard to see him or captain Gabriel Landeskog being moved before the summer. TSN's Bob McKenzie reported that Joe Sakic is seeking an NHL established player that's 20-24 years old, a top prospect and first-round pick. If the "established" player is on the fringe, it might even take a fourth piece.
- The Islanders are now 0-12-1 when trailing after 40 minutes this season, 3-9 in overtime and 7-7-9 in one-goal games. Not to mention, they gave up another goal in the final three minutes to lose a game last night. Those are valuable points that are going to be very difficult to overcome in the chase to reclaim that playoff spot. Last night, they lost for only the sixth time in 28 games when scoring first.
- Congratulations to Chimera on his 1000th NHL game last night, an incredible accomplishment. Lost in the wave of good sentiment to the Islanders veteran winger was the fact that Dennis Seidenberg also played in his 800th.