With a day off on Tuesday, the Islanders had time to reflect on their recent seven-game skid. And it wasn't pleasant.
Monday was another instance of New York getting ahead early just to lose the lead and the game later on. The Canuck, who own a 25-32-9 record after the win, should have been an easy opponent for the Isles to snap the losing streak. However, a 4-3 overtime loss ensued instead, forcing angered words to leave the mouth of many, including head coach Doug Weight after the game.
What's even worse is the Blue Jackets moved up in the Eastern Conference wild card race with a win over the Golden Knights on Tuesday night. Now, the Islanders sit six points out of that coveted playoff berth, and they realize if they want to see the postseason, their window of opportunity is closing fast.
"Whether it's mental or just execution of a few plays, we just have to find a way to do it," John Tavares told Newsday's Neil Best. "No one's going to feel sorry for us...Obviously, this isn't a whole lot of fun right now."
Anders Lee added, "It's been a frustrating go, and a lot of guys are gripping it tight. A lot of guys are obviously frustrated and disappointed with what's gone on, and that bleeds into your play. They're going to score a goal or two, but it seems every time a team does that right now against us momentum completely shifts and we get stuck in mud for whatever reason. It's extremely, extremely frustrating. It doesn't sit well."
Weight said his players produced many "bonehead" plays after taking an early 2-0 lead in Vancouver. Three unanswered goals came in the second and third periods as a result.
Now, the Isles travel to Edmonton on Wednesday before their game with the Oilers Thursday. This will be the second game in nine days that New York plays north of the border. They face the Flames on Sunday before returning home to face the Capitals.
Despite traveling being tough, Tavares likes how there is at least a couple of days in between each matchup.
"Traveling is really what kind of wears you down over the course of the season," he said, "all the miles in the air, late nights getting in at 3, 4 in the morning, the jet lag that you have to overcome. When you get a couple of days between games it gets the guys all together, which is really good, and you get a couple of good practices in, not in and out of a city."
With that travel time, each player will get to think about what they can do to break out of this slump.