The Western road trip was such a weird experience. (Not that I was there, thankfully. Would’ve been a frustrating use of tourism dollars and PTO). The Islanders only salvaged one win, via shootout vs. the worst team. Yet they did salvage four out of a potential eight points, and the coaching staff wasn’t totally wrong in saying they did a lot of good things: they’ve arguably shored up some things, like the power play and 5-on-5 defense.
But the overall results do not feel unjust, particularly when blowing third-period lead after third-period lead. NHL .500 is the path to ruin.
It’s all a bit of an echo back to the early Capuano era, which is to say: The coaching isn’t all that, but the roster ain’t great, either. So the target of your largest portion of blame probably depends on your personal philosophy, or what you think of facial hair rules.
Anyway, the 7th-place Islanders — but tied with the Devils! — return to the east and resume play on Thanksgiving Eve, part of two home games in four days vs. the second-place(!) Flyers. They could totally win two of the next three and be in a sunnier standings position at the weekend.
But would it change your view of who they are?
- Three Takeaways: The Isles snapped a seven-game winless skid. Ye gods. [Isles]
- For Ilya Sorokin, it was an unusually long wait for another W. [Newsday | Post]
- Dan and Mike try to digest the “insanely chaotic” events of the last four Isles games. [Islanders Anxiety]
- As Cal Clutterbuck hits 1,000 regular season games, it’s not the destination but the friends who helped him along the way. [Newsday]
- Prospect report: Last summer’s 5th-round pick Justin Gill is “dominating offensively for the Baie-Comeau Drakkar, picking up seven points in three games.” [Isles]
- Hudson Fasching is making a case for more playing time. Feels like this will be a recurring theme. [Newsday]
- A busy but unimpressive weekend for Bridgeport. [THN]
- “The Islanders are a team to watch when they’re behind — they generate quality shots and don’t give up too much, earning about 61 percent of the expected goals share. And the team has even better results to match, outscoring opponents 9-5 in that time, which is why they don’t spend much time trailing. But few teams are as porous defensively as the Islanders are with a lead.” And as you know, it’s especially bad in the third. [Athletic]
- You killed Jaro! You bastards! The Hurricanes release Halak from his free agent PTO. Suspect that might be the end. [TSN]
- Stan Fischler discusses the merits and timing of coach firings, though does not mention the Islanders’ situation. [THN]
- Speaking of which: Oilers “tire fire” in their own zone. [Sportsnet]
- Milan Lucic, alleged P.O.S. [Daily Faceoff]