Mathew Barzal is on his way back to his Juniors team in Seattle. J-F Berube is still rotating between the press box and the bench, as the Islanders' three goaltender boondoggle continues to infuriate both fans and the goalies involved in the situation alike. Sort of makes you feel like P.A. Pareanteau could have easily had a spot on this team had the Isles exercised a little more foresight.
To make matters worse, Parenteau notched his fifth goal of the season on Tuesday night, pulling him into a tie for the Devils' team lead with Taylor Hall. With plenty of space, Parenteau roofed a wicked wrister for his sixth point of the season. That would be good enough to tie him for first in goals and sixth in overall scoring on the Islanders. What's more, he's playing to a 55.5 Corsi For and 55.4 Fenwick For through 12 games this season, an admittedly small sample size, but marks that put him on pace for the best possession metrics in his career.
So is cutting bait with Parenteau, who inked a one-year, $1.25 million deal with the Isles this offseason, for absolutely nothing destined to haunt this team for the remainder of their season?
It certainly feels that way. With the Isles playing an abysmal possession game early in the season, Parenteau could have been a beacon of hope. Either that, or he would have fallen victim to a system that seems to be struggling to contain opposing team's offensive chances. At the very least, Parenteau's presence would have lengthened the Isles' lineup, and given some sort of stability to a top line that has, once again, spent the better part of this season in flux.
And lest we forget the shootout, where the Isles have yet to notch a single successful attempt during their two appearances and six total chances. The Islanders have absolutely no answer for the skills competition, and Parenteau would have at least given them a viable option for a team that opted to lead off their last shootout with defenseman Nick Leddy.
Brian Compton and Mike Carver talked about this on the Point Blank podcast this week, and I was right there with Carver. I was fine with cutting ties with Parenteau, because it seemed that the Isles were fully confident in Barzal and Anthony Beauvillier's capability to get the job done. Presumably, waiving P.A. was all about giving these guys an unfettered chance at NHL success. But with Barzal now back at Juniors and Beauvillier still the occasional healthy scratch, it's led to a lot of hand wringing.
Maybe Parenteau's early season goal scoring prowess will taper off, the Isles recover from their slow start, and this will all be a footnote in an otherwise successful season. But right now, it's sure feeling like P.A. is the one that got away.