With 13 games left, head coach Doug Weight knows there is no margain for error.
The Islanders currently sit nine points out of the second wild card in the Eastern Conference, and a run is certainly needed to come within reach of that mark.
"We know we've got to go on a big run," Weight told Newsday's Andrew Gross. "It's going to start with one game. We have to plan for Thursday like it's April 8 and go from there."
The first step with snapping a long losing streak with a win over the Flames on Sunday. But an 0-4-4 skid wasn't what Weight had in mind for the final stretch.
"You go eight games and get four points, regardless of being in position to win or not, that's pretty catastrophic at this time, there's no ands, ifs or buts," Weight said. "But it happened. It's behind us. We've got to win every game and that's how we've got to go about it. We've got to beat a good team on Thursday and then we'll try to beat them again Friday and we'll go from there. That's our mindset."
It's not an impossible run for the Isles, and it helps that six of the next seven games are at home. And frustration is hitting a team that is might miss the playoffs for the second straight season, so that may be used as fuel to change that.
"It's extremely frustrating," Thomas Hickey said. "You look at teams that are primed for Stanley Cup runs and you have your veteran leadership and then you have the young, affordable, high-energy players that are a big part of your team. We do have that. You look over the past nine games and we lost eight in a row and we probably could have won six. I do think this group has that kind of potential and it is tough to see those points slip away."
It's desperation mode at this point, and D Cal Clutterbuck thinks pure instincts could help heighten the Islanders' play.
"We're in a position now where we can kind of allow instincts to take over," Clutterbuck said. "We've got nothing to lose in this situation now. I think that sometimes prommotes a little more confident play. Sometimes, it creates results."
The homestretch starts with a matchup against the Washington Capitals on Thursday.