Saturday night’s game was more a of scrimmage than anything else. Neither team had much to play for and it showed, with not much defense being played and the goal totals resembling something like a mini-all-star game. The two teams combined for 75 shots including 21 in the second period for the Islanders alone, who apparently threw everything at Steve Mason during that frame.
Al Montoya surrendered 7-goals in what was easily the worst showing of his season. It caps a month of play for him where everything went wrong and he was never really the same goaltender that he was pre-concussion. According to Eric Hornick, he was 6-5-3 pre-concussion and 3-6-2 after. His whole season was in spurts, never really allowed to get started. After starting the first three games he was benched for nearly a month. After getting in a bit of a groove back in December he of course got steamrolled by Evander Kane, Evgeni Nabokov started what seemed like a hundred games in a row and the rest is swiss cheese-like history. Montoya likely won’t be back as an Islander and unfortunately he’s probably played his way out of the NHL. It’s a tough ending for a player who looked like he had turned things around from some bad years in the AHL.
As for the Islanders as a whole, the loss locks in their place in the 4th spot in this year’s draft lottery. That gives them a 10.7% chance of moving up to the top spot and as the New York Lottery says, you never know. We’ll begin to delve into the draft coverage once positions are locked in. The lottery will be held on Tuesday night in a televised event.
– Despite 8 shots, John Tavares was held off the board. Tavares finished with 81 points in 82 games.
– Michael Grabner scored his third goal in the last two games to become the fourth Islander to 20 goals this season.
– Both Micheal Haley and Matt Martin fought, although neither was really much of a highlight.
– Kudos to the Blue Jackets for putting in goalie Shawn Hunwick for the final 2:33 of the third period. A few minutes is a nice present for a kid who was never supposed to make it in college and then never supposed to make it to the NHL. If you’re unfamiliar, Hunwick walked onto the Michigan hockey team in 2007, eventually leading them to a national title game in 2010-11. He went undrafted and was signed to an ATO by the Blue Jackets last week when they needed a goalie due to a rash of injuries throughout their system.