After a great start to the season, the Islanders have slipped into a three game losing streak and are now below the NHL .500 mark. With ten games already played in a 48 game season, is it time for Islanders fans to panic and start looking forward to the lottery? Hardly.When the Islanders were winning they’re special teams were red hot. Both the powerplay and penalty killing units were top 5 in the League. However, if looking at the team five on five, you will notice they’re down at the bottom once again. It was just a matter of time before the cooling off process began. By all accounts if this were a full season, the Islanders would be on pace for 230 goals as of this writing. That’s a big improvement folks, powerplay or not. What does concern me is the overall defense and lack of desperation in the first period for this team.
Again, it’s a short season but the stats right now don’t lie. When the Islanders lead in either the first or second periods, they win. Perfect percentage. After trailing in the first? .167. In other words, opposing teams know to get at the Islanders in the first period and they have them beat. The Islanders must start with more determination and end the same way.
Defensively, they’re not scoring again. Only Mark Streit and Travis Hamonic have a goal five on five. Two goals in ten games will not cut it. If the defense can get some goals it can certainly change the tone of the game. Would like to see Andrew MacDonald come through soon. With some of the new faces should now be acclimated to the system to where more will be expected from them also.
So, why should fans not have to panic? Because getting Josh Bailey and Lubomir Visnovski back could not have come at a better time. Josh Bailey can certainly add some offense and he can help on the penalty kill as well. And whether fans like him or not, Visnovski will help with both some scoring and defense that will be able to ease the scoring pressure on Striet, who seems to be the only defenseman who can put the puck in the back of the net. Getting these two is like a trade deadline deal that quickly improves the team. Finally, we’re only ten games into the season. I will say after twenty games if the Islanders are still losing, then start getting ready for the draft party again. But to be honest, the Islanders look like they will be in the playoff hunt for the full season, so enjoy the ride.