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Isles Outwork, but Lose to Tampa...Lehner's Got To Be Better

November 9, 2018, 9:27 AM ET [5 Comments]
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Currently in the NHL there are really two teams who are starting to look like they could lap the field....Nashville and Tampa...

So when you face one of these powerhouses it is a great test and last night the Isles took the test, and mostly passed....most of them at least...

Let me start by saying, it is becoming clear that Brock Nelson, Anders Lee, and Josh Bailey are playing at a work ethic level which can only be compared to "2017-18 Vegas Golden Knights-ish." There were moments when the trio was giving the Lightning absolute fits...and Lee or Bailey would somehow win the puck amidst two or three Lightning players...The line scored both goals, took 8 shots, and beyond that, simply outworked the Lightning.

The Barzal line was another story...The were victimized by Stamkos, Miller and Kucherov....Coach Cooper knows what he is doing when it comes to line matching and kept that matchup going all game long...Eberle ended up a -4 for the night despite only 13 minutes of ice-time.

Despite all of that, the Isles outshot the Bolts, the usually dominant Bolts, 37-27 and were it not for Vasilevskiy making several 10 bell saves while the Isles Robin Lehner played....let's say "OK."

I honestly question not going with Greiss in this one. Lehner has been serviceable, but is not the quickest side-to-side goalie and when you are playing Tampa there is no doubt "side-to-side quickness" is beyond vital. The Lightning's second and third goals were great examples of Lehner's lateral movement issues. I am not saying they were bad goals, all I am saying is that to beat the best your keeper needs to help a little more.

Lehner is clearly the backup right now and since the Isles aren't playing the Panthers in back-to-backs I would have liked to see Greiss last night and against the Panthers...It's hard to pick on Lehner, he has been very good....it's just that Greiss has been phenomenal.

All that said...with a few minutes to go in this game the Islanders and Lightning were tied...but Tampa showed the difference between an experienced team and a young team...They found a way to win...

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