The New York Islanders celebrate Mikhail Grabovski's goal. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
If there’s one play that can convince you these aren’t the New York Islanders you’re used to, this might be it. The Isles make four tape-to-tape, gorgeous passes to set Mikhail Grabovski up for a tap-in. It’ll make you feel bad for Henrik Lundqvist.
The New York Islanders continue to be one of the most fun teams to watch in the entire NHL, and this exquisite passing play leading to a Mikhail Grabovski goal is the most recent example.
If you can follow the moving puck, it goes from John Tavares, across the ice to Josh Bailey, over to Johnny Boychuk, back to Bailey, and then to the goalmouth where Grabovski is waiting to tap it home. It’s a thing of beauty, and each pass is perfect. The play is made better by Grabovski’s stationary celebration.
The way the Islanders move the puck on the play feels reminiscent of watching an AND1 mixtape from 2001, with Tavares playing the role of Skip 2 My Lou. Or you could say they look like the Harlem Globetrotters to the Rangers’ Washington Generals. Whichever way you want to put it, it just looks unfair.
By the time the puck made its way over to Grabovski, it’s hard to fathom there’s a single goaltender anywhere that could have made the stop. Watching Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist shuffle about his crease as he waits for the puck to come his way is painful, especially when you know how this ends. He had it, he had it, he had it, and then he lost it. What a play by the Isles.