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Repetto: Islanders Win Big Against New Jersey, But loose play still lingering

The Islanders came out big in their final regular season game in Nassau Coliseum defeating the New Jersey Devils 5-1.

For the most part the Isles were creating opportunities and playing a tough game defensively. Much of this was observed through the first two periods. It reflected onto the scoreboard as Jordan Eberle from a pass by Mathew Barzal put the Islanders up by one at the end of the first.

Despite this, it seemed like New York tightened up more on the ice as they then went on to score four unanswered goals over the final 40 minutes.

Losing three straight games prior to Saturday night, it became apparent the Isles were looking for a get right kind of effort especially as playoffs approached. But even with last night’s final score indicating a dominant performance, there was still a negative part of the Isles’ overall game that continues to linger.

After making it a four-goal lead, they wavered in the way that they were playing. This then gave New Jersey chances on net and once again raised the eyebrow of head coach Barry Trotz. “That’ll be the only concerning thing to me is that we, you know, didn’t stay to our game,” he said. “That is something that we said we would do. I thought for the most part a good group of us did, there’s a few that did not.

Looking at loose play, it cost the Islanders any chance of possibly grabbing home ice. Even worse, that lax style came against Buffalo, who sits last in the division; it also happened against New Jersey in the first matchup prior to last night. You can see the undeniable difference when you compare their game yesterday to Thursday night. The Islanders played on their toes a majority of last night, which is what they should have been doing this entire week.

As playoffs begin, letting the lax and sloppy play will only hinder the Islanders on the ice. They need to come out as they had done in the first two periods last night and then keep this constant throughout. Playoffs are a whole different game, and any loose play, especially with the Capitals or Penguins as the potential opponent, is just begging for trouble.

The Islanders have one more tilt with the Bruins tomorrow night to get all their looseness out of them before things really ramp up.



Follow Bri on Twitter at @RepettoBri


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