Andy Graziano, SNY.TV Twitter
The New York Islanders believe a turnaround to their season has to "start now" as they sit at the bottom of the Metropolitan Division and the Eastern Conference.
Speaking to News 12 Long Island on Monday, via Newsday, the Islanders believe there is a lot of hockey to be played, however as they rank 28th in the league, it is likely too late. That said, the players' expected "never-say-die" attitude is admirable.
Josh Bailey spoke of "surges and downtimes," while Casey Cizikas pointed out the team needs to "bear down" following shootout losses to the only two teams below them in the standings (the Colorado Avalanche and Arizona Coyotes) and heading into Wednesday's game at Barclays Center against the Florida Panthers.
"We need to forget everything that's happened to this point and move forward," Cizikas said.
To forget a four-win October, a four-win November and four- and five-game losing streaks is easier said than done
The Islanders do have points in six of their last seven games, capturing 71 percent of all possible in the process (10 of 14 on four wins and two overtime losses). But a weekend when they absolutely needed to sweep just doesn't cut it when there are so many teams to jump just to put themselves in the playoff discussion, never mind truly challenge for a spot.
Not to mention, the Islanders, who have won just four of their 16 road games this season, play 25 of their final 44 games away from Brooklyn (57 percent).
Plus, there is the absolute bonfire that is the Metropolitan Division. Currently, five teams from the division would head to the playoffs. Right now, the New York Rangers, at 28-13-1, would currently be a wild-card team, which is absurd with that record. The Philadelphia Flyers currently hold the second wild-card spot in the conference, and they lead the Islanders by 10 points.
At least Bailey and Cizikas' comments show a tad more urgency than head coach Jack Capuano.
"Some of these games, even when we won a lot of shootouts, are tie games," he said. "If our record was better, we'd be sitting here saying we got points on the road, things are great. End of the day, you're talking about structure, framework and foundation. That's how we have to play. If we lose games, people are going to say what they want to say. We have to play structured and we have to compete. If it's good enough, great. If it's not, then so be it."
So be it, then.
Beyond the box
Travis Hamonic is day-to-day with a knee injury after missing practice for the second straight day and is unlikely to play on Wednesday, Capuano confirmed to the team site. ... Captain John Tavares will represent the Islanders at the NHL All-Star Game on Jan. 29, making his fourth All-Star appearance. ... The Islanders rank 29th in the NHL in 5-on-5 Corsi at 46.06, slightly ahead of Arizona, who sit at 45.91. That's even with New York's PDO (advanced indicator of 'puck luck') being 101.02, which is fifth in the league. ... Thomas Greiss is 3-0-2 in his last five starts with a 1.55 goals against average and .956 save percentage.