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Islanders vs. Flames: Slow death march returns home

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The NHL’s last-place team returns home.

NHL: New York Islanders at Calgary Flames
How these two teams play hockey.
Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Last week the New York Islanders headed West for what was pretty clearly a death march. But if you titled your head just so and carried a CostCo-sized case of benefit of the doubt, you could see a banner trip giving them enough hope to at least convince themselves this season could still be turned around.

It was not a banner trip.

One (somewhat fortunate) shootout win, and two regulation losses dealt with Shakespeare-level doses of late-game tragedy, the Islanders return home from that trip as the NHL’s last-place team.

And rightfully so.

This team is bad. It made questionable decisions over the offseason that even the head coach, who is questionable himself, appeared to question and thus throw our “well let’s at least evaluate this roster” tests into disarray.

This probably isn’t a 30th-place roster but it’s a 30th-place situation, where all of the traditional Islanders baggage we thought hoped were finally cast behind us are combining to make for one awful first quarter.

What happens next is anyone’s guess. For now it’s the same deal, the same roster, the same three-goalie situation, and the same scratching of Ryan Strome, the 2011 5th-overall pick who appears lost under a coaching staff that appears at a loss at how to handle them.

How Bad are the Flames?

So the test tonight is a similarly abysmal team, for different reasons. Those reasons were outlined by our HockeyGoalieEh, a dual-Flames/Islanders fan, who sounds a lot like me circa 2011.

Brian Elliott is the Flames’ starter and he’s been the worst goalie in the league this season, the poor bastard. He improved himself greatly behind a team that tailored to his strengths in St. Louis, but he wanted job security for the future so he asked for a trade to be a starter last summer.

The Blues obliged by...dealing him to the Flames. Now he’s in his walk year and his earning potential is suddenly on much shakier ground.

The Flames lost badly last night in Philly. They’ll probably rebound tonight and further our misery.

How to Suffer?

Catch this game on MSG+, AM970 The Answer - 101.9FM, 88.7FM WRHU, 103.9FM LI News, if you’re that kind of sick, twisted sort.

Leave your First Islanders Goal picks here by game time, which is 7 p.m. EST.