The New York Islanders have been one of the NHL’s best stories this season, but Tuesday in Philadelphia, their strong comeback against the Flyers turned into agony when goalie Jaroslav Halak allowed a soft goal from just inside the blueline with 2.1 seconds remaining.
For most of this season, the New York Islanders have been one of the NHL’s best stories. After years of abject misery and mismanagement, the franchise looked to have turned the corner, with talent blossoming around superstar John Tavares and in Jaroslav Halak, a new starting goaltender who’d had previous playoff success to his name.
Unfortunately, Halak and the Islanders picked the wrong time to have a meltdown – because after Tuesday’s last-second collapse against the Philadelphia Flyers, many Isles fans are going into the playoffs wondering whether Halak will be able to lead them on a deep post-season run.
The deflating loss in Philly began the way many do – with the about-to-be-deflated team looking good for a while. After being down 4-1 early in the third period, the Isles had rallied to tie the game at four goals apiece with 28 seconds left to play in regulation. And then, with 2.1 seconds left before overtime, this happened to Halak:
Let’s not get overly excited just yet. Halak flubbing Brayden Schenn’s harmless shot from just inside the blueline isn’t the end of the world for him or the Islanders. However, it does speak to the reason Halak is on his fourth NHL team in the past seven seasons. He’s capable of going on hot streaks, but every so often, he’s capable of allowing a softie at the worst time.