After starting the season 15-7-2, the Islanders have regressed since December, going 8-13-2. Ahead of a three-game Western Conference road trip, head coach Doug Weight is looking at his best players to help pull the Islanders back on track.
John Tavares, Josh Bailey and Mathew Barzal are among the NHL's top 15 in points and Anders Lee is third in goals. That's who Weight is looking for to get even better as the season grinds on.
"It's the time of the year to follow your best players," Weight said, via Arthur Staple of Newsday. "Our top two lines, our veterans, our leaders have to lead us. What they can sometimes misconstrue what that means, maybe trying to do too much. It means playing the way we play consistently, battling, energy, short shifts. Doesn't mean you have to score three a night or extend your shifts."
Despite losing to the Bruins on Thursday night, Weight found a few positives but is clamoring for the team to work its way forward.
"I think we played 37 of the best minutes we played in six weeks and for that I'm relieved a little bit," Weight said. "You're going to have bad breaks. But when you're not confident as a team or a person, they tailspin. We're going to try get on the other side of that ledger with diligence and work ethic for 60 minutes. You have to trust you're going to play the right way and win more than we lose."
The Islanders are next in action on Saturday night at 8:30 p.m. against the Blackhawks in Chicago.