The New York Islanders are coming off of an abysmal performance in Calgary. The game was a 4:00 Eastern Time start and the Islanders did not have their legs going in the first period. Thomas Greiss was standing on his head and was able to keep the Flames off of the scoreboard for almost the first 15 minutes in the period.
Eventually the Flames onslaught become too much for Greiss to handle and Calgary scored. That goal opened the floodgates and by the end of the first period the Flames had a 4-0 lead. The Isles were able to find their legs a bit after the first, and lost the game 5-2.
Unfortunately, the Islanders always seem to struggle in matinee games. So far this season they have played in twelve games when puck drop was before 7:00 ET. In those games they sit at a reasonable 6-4-2. However, if you dig a little deeper you’ll find a troubling trend.
The Islanders have played seven home games at 6:00. In those games they are 5-0-2. The other five games played before 7:00 have come on the road. In fact all five of those games had a puck drop earlier than 6:00. The Isles sit at 1-4-0 in those games. Making matters worse they have lost the last two of those games a combined 12-2. Prior to the Flames loss the Islanders lost to the Columbus Blue Jackets 7-0.
Luckily the Islanders only have four games left earlier than 7:00. They will play the Blue Jackets (1pm) and Senators (5pm) at home, and the Sabres (3pm) and Devils (6pm) on the road. The Devils and Senators games are on back to back nights, and the final two games of the Islander season.
As the Islanders continue their quest for the playoffs every point will be crucial. Their is a chance the season finale against the Senators will determine the final playoff spot. The Isles are going to have to figure out their matinee blues in order to make their playoff dreams a reality.