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Islanders News: We have to keep the faith

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We know how good this team can be when they’re firing on all cylinders.

New York Islanders v Washington Capitals
This kind of sums it up: a step off the puck all night.
Photo by Patrick McDermott/NHLI via Getty Images

Well, that sucked. The New York Islanders were outclassed completely by the Washington Capitals, barely able to play at all at even strength.

As they say, burn the tape and move on. It feels like we’ve had to say that too often in the last few weeks, though, which seems like it should be cause for concern.

Take care of business against the New York Rangers this week and worry about the rest later. If the Isles can pull out both games against the Rangers in regulation, they will clinch a playoff berth. Failing that, they will have two games each against the Buffalo Sabres and New Jersey Devils to help them reach their goal.

Just get in and go from there. This team can flip the switch when it needs to flip the switch, and the playoffs are the quintessential need-to-flip-the-switch time. I know that I did not sound like I was keeping the faith in last night’s recap, but I promise that I am keeping the faith, folks. And not in the spirit of a just-okay Billy Joel song.

We know how good this team can be when they’re on—they can skate with the best teams in the division and the league when they are. We have to hope that they will get back to that. That is what we root for, right?

Islanders News

Recaps from another disappointment: Rage by yours truly for LHH | Isles 5 Takeaways | Newsday | NHL | NYI Skinny

  • Barry Trotz thought that the Isles were in it last night.
  • To be fair, though, the players interviewed also thought that they played well enough to earn at least a point, too.
  • Semyon Varlamov was a late scratch on his 33rd birthday, but all along the Isles planned to start Ilya Sorokin last night. Varlamov’s absence was due to “soreness,” but Trotz doesn’t foresee it being a problem. [Newsday]
  • Trotz juggled the lines last night in hopes to get some production from his top lines. Round one of the experiment was unsuccessful. [Newsday]
  • It is no secret that Kyle Palmieri has gotten off to a slow start with the Isles. But it is not for lack of trying. He entered last night shooting 5.9%, well below his career- and season-average, and the team was shooting only 1.8% when he has been on the ice—in other words, they are simply not getting the bounces. [NBC Sports]
  • LISTEN: Arthur Staple welcomed Justin Bourne for the first half of the new No Sleep Til Belmont; in the second half, he and A.J. Mleczko discussed the Isles’ struggles and potential playoff matchups.
  • The Isles went out for a walk yesterday at lunch and a Capitals fan ran into and grabbed a selfie with Trotz. [RMNB]
  • Greg Wyshynski went inside UBS Arena to give the national audience a taste of what is in store for us next season. [ESPN]
  • The Sound Tigers’ win streak has come to an end after losing in overtime to the Wolf Pack. [Sound Tigers | CT Post]

Elsewhere

Last night’s NHL scores include the Rangers beating the Sabres, the Boston Bruins defeating the Pittsburgh Penguins, and the Devils beating the Philadelphia Flyers. Also, the Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers clinched playoff spots by earning 7–4 wins over the Chicago Blackhawks and Nashville Predators, respectively.

  • The league has made it official: In addition to ESPN, the NHL’s games will be telecast through Turner Sports on TNT and TBS. I like this, I think. [NHL | Newsday]
  • Elliotte Friedman wrote about what the Turner deal means for the NHL, as well as some tidbits around the league. [31 Thoughts]
  • As has been rumored, the NHL may adjust the playoffs to fit the border restrictions between the United States and Canada. [NHL]
  • The Colorado Avalanche may get back on Friday goalie Phillip Grubauer and forwards Mikko Rantanen and Joonas Donskoi. [NHL]
  • Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Joonas Korpisalo will miss the rest of the season with a lower-body injury. [NHL]
  • Goalies Matt Murray and Anton Forsberg may yet return for the Ottawa Senators. I mean, there is really no need for them to return at this point. [NHL]
  • Despite all the Norris hype, Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman has been rather mediocre this season, especially in the last month or so. What gives? [The Athletic]
  • 48-year-old former NHL goalie and Isles goalie coach Fred Braithwaite suited up as a backup for the Henderson Silver Knights, the affiliate of the Vegas Golden Knights. [NHL]