Barry Spit of the Islanders loses confidence in the struggling Oliver Wahlstrom

Barry’s confidence in Oliver Wahlstrom has to do with what the Islanders’ wing has been up to on the ice lately.

But after a bad Saturday against the Blues, where Wahlstrom played 10:31, took a penalty, was minus 3 and made a few bad reads, the manager’s confidence in Wahlstrom isn’t all that great. And after two periods and 8:27 ice time on Tuesday, it was down to zero.

“You just have to play better,”diot said after the Islanders defeated the Penguins 5-4 on penalties. “I’m not giving you the details.”

Wahlstrom fell badly and was taken care of on the bench during the second half, so it seemed possible his absence was due to injury. But despite it was clear that it was about performance.

‘He’s got to rebuild it somehow [trust] again,” said defiance earlier in the day of the 21-year-old. “Give me the first shift, and if the first shift is good, then the second shift. We just go layer by layer.”

Oliver Wahlstrom tries to keep the puck off Brian Boyle during the Islanders' 5-4 shootout win over the Penguins.
Oliver Wahlstrom tries to keep the puck off Brian Boyle during the Islanders’ 5-4 shootout win over the Penguins.
USA TODAY sports

When Wahlstrom was working late at an optional morning ice skate for the islanders, it looked like he might be completely off the lineup. But Defiance said that while he had changed his mind, the player who would come in – presumably Kieffer Bellows – wasn’t feeling well Tuesday morning.

The Islanders have found a line that seems to be working to put Wahlstrom in line with Mathew Barzal and Zach Parise, but Wahlstrom’s output – he’s down just four points since early March – has dropped dramatically.

Couple that with the ever-present questions about Wahlstrom’s Ice Age, role, and ultimate potential, and this makes for a situation to watch as the Islanders wrap up their season.

“Sometimes you have to understand that systematic play has to trump your instincts,” said Detroit. “And Wally is an instinctive player. If they’re out of bounds, then you’re really just playing s–tty. I just keep getting better balance for him from every part of his game. The forecheck game, the neutral zone, the defensive zone and sometimes just a bit of composure when things get a little chaotic.”

That’s not too different from what Defiance has asked of Wahlstrom in the past. But development won’t happen overnight, and Defiance is willing to be patient.

“Some guys linger a bit [on mistakes]. I’d say Wally is lingering longer than necessary,”diot said. “Because he has a lot of skills and I think he’s going to be a pretty solid player.”

The Bridgeport Islanders (AHL) announced the signing of Koby Bender, a 24-year-old Minnesota-Duluth forward, to an amateur tryout contract. Bender had seven goals and 19 assists in college last season as a fifth grader.

Butch Goring will miss at least three more game broadcasts on MSG Plus, with Joe Micheletti stepping in on Thursday and Cheryl Pounder taking the role on Friday and Sunday. Anson Carter worked alongside Brendan Burke on Tuesday. Barry Spit of the Islanders loses confidence in the struggling Oliver Wahlstrom


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