The New York Islanders fought back from their fair share of deficits in putting together a four-game winning streak and seven-game road run, but they couldn’t climb that mountain again on Tuesday. The Florida Panthers built a 4-0 lead and held on for a 4-2 win to end both of the Isles’ streaks tonight.
Despite all the optimism building in Long Island, the bottom line is that they find themselves in more or less the same place as the Panthers; the Isles are now 18-23-7 while the Panthers improved to 18-21-7.
Perhaps it just highlights an uncomfortable truth for the Islanders amid the surge of good feelings during the last three weeks or so: they still have a long, long way to go.
Matt O'Connor‘s time in the Canadian capital was brief, but still noteworthy.
O’Connor, the losing netminder in Sunday’s “Battle of the Backups” against Montreal — Habs No. 2 Mike Condon got the win — has been sent down to AHL Binghamton to pave the way for Andrew Hammond‘s return from a groin injury, per the Sun.
The Hamburglar has been out since the preseason, but his return is earlier than expected.
He was originally supposed to miss the first two weeks, yet now sounds as though he’ll play one of Ottawa’s two games on an upcoming road trip through Columbus and Pittsburgh.
It’s going to be interesting to see if Hammond can replicate the success he had last season, when he came out of nowhere to go 20-1-2 with a 1.79 GAA and .941 save percentage, and finish seventh in Vezina voting.
With a quote that’s sure to raise the ire of the stats crowd, here’s Jonathan Quick on his .833 save percentage to start the season:
“That’s for people that don’t know the game. Those numbers don’t mean nothing. We’re 0-2, though. That number means something, so that’s something that we’ve got to get better at.”
(That quote, per LA Kings Insider.)
Quick allowed four goals on 22 shots in his last outing, a 4-1 loss to Arizona on Friday, after which head coach Darryl Sutter said of his star goalie: “He didn’t play very well tonight, did he?”
So even if Quick doesn’t think much of statistics, he should still be extra motivated for tonight’s home game against Vancouver, assuming he gets the start.
Last season, Quick’s .918 save percentage ranked in a three-way tie for 14th out of the 29 goalies who started 40 or more games.