Sometimes the best thing to do after taking a beating is just flip the page.
A quick turnaround allowed the Islanders to do exactly that on Tuesday night as they hammered the NHL-worst Detroit Red Wings 8-2 a night after getting schooled 6-2 by the crosstown-rival Rangers at Madison Square Garden.
“That was a message [head coach Barry Trotz] stressed this morning,” Islanders winger Brock Nelson said. “We talked about what went wrong, what we need to do better… and we kind of just flipped the page.”
Nelson scored two on a banner night for the Islanders’ inconsistent offense. In total, seven players recorded multi-point games in a season-best effort that saw some notable Islanders break lengthy goal droughts.
Josh Bailey scored for the first time in 15 games, Anthony Beauvillier broke a 13-game drought, and Leo Komarov scored his first goal of the season (26 games played).
“There’s a long list of people that needed that,” Trotz said. “Hopefully, that gets them going in the right direction.”
They benefitted from Trotz’s decision to shuffle his lines, most notably breaking up the trio of Beauvillier, Bailey, and Mathew Barza on Tuesday night.
“I was looking for A: Some offense and B: I talked to Beau and Barzy and Bails, I think they can be a good line and I think they have been. But it didn’t work out [against the Rangers] and they were all sort of dry,” Trotz said. “So I split them… Maybe I’ll put them back tomorrow.”
As for Jordan Eberle, the Islanders’ winger is heating up after a difficult first half to his season.
After scoring just three goals in his first 31 games, he has three in his last four — including one in the Rangers loss and Red Wings win.
It’s further affirmation that making a switch to a more aggressive style of attack is paying off for the 29-year-old, who spoke with AMNewYork Metro about his mindset moving forward.
“You’re bound to get hot, things start to lean the other way. It’s just kind of how it works,” he told us last week. “As long as you keep shooting the puck, keep creating opportunities, the puck is bound to go in. It’s just the math of it.”
Trotz is seeing the difference.
“Jordan is really supporting the puck, he’s making plays, he’s got that real tight quickness… real good vision,” he said. “To me, he’s forcing himself to the inside of the ice instead of trying to make something happen from the exterior.”
The Islanders will be hoping their newfound offensive affluence wasn’t just an anomaly and can continue on Thursday night in a rematch against the Rangers at Nassau Coliseum.
“I think we have to show what we are,” Trotz said. “We have another level in our game so hopefully we should bring it on Thursday.”
The rivalry’s first meeting at Nassau Coliseum since 2015 will be the second meeting of three between the Islanders and Rangers in an eight-day stretch.