This game was a tale of 3 stretches, which the #s above don’t make clear. In the first period, the Islanders were close to dominant in the neutral zone – entries were 23-17 Isles, but the Habs only had one carry-in to the Isles 9. By the 10 minute mark of the second period however, not only were the Islanders now trailing, but the Habs had nearly evened the neutral zone #s.
And then the Habs decided to defensive shell. HARD. For the remaining 30 minutes, the Isles were as dominant in the neutral zone as they had been all year, rivaling the game vs the Flyers. In the final 20, entries were 37-20 Isles, with 18 of those Isles entries by carry-in (to the Habs 6). That is ridiculously dominant and basically reflected the Habs’ reliance on Carry Price.
Unfortunately, Carey Price succeeded. Oh well – odds are he won’t if the Habs do this in the next meeting of these teams.