Such is the Islanders’ present predicament that scoring a single purpose looks like a mark of progress.
Right here is the state of affairs for the Metropolitan Division’s bottom-dwellers after Wednesday’s 4-1 loss to the Rangers:
They’ve scored three targets in three video games at UBS Enviornment, Andy Andreoff lastly breaking a dry spell Wednesday at 3:32 within the third interval. The participant who leads the group in targets — Brock Nelson — is on IR for the following three to 5 weeks. The Islanders completed Wednesday’s sport with six power-play alternatives, however they might not rating on the man-advantage, bringing their November whole to 1-for-27.
“We’re gonna need a special-teams goal, a power-play goal, a five-on-five timely goal,” coach Barry Trotz stated. “We’re gonna need those moments after you score a goal, that next shift we can’t have them score.”
That downside will not be new, however it added as much as one thing acquainted: a seventh straight loss. All have been by three targets or extra.
Argue all you need about whether or not this sport ought to have been performed with seven Islanders in COVID-19 protocol. The standings don’t care. The Islanders are 5-9-2. And it was the top-line gamers — not the call-ups — who Trotz demanded extra manufacturing from Wednesday.
“We’ve got some guys that are dry and we’re getting on to 15, 16 games,” Trotz stated. “It’s hard to win hockey games when we’re a little bit depleted, I think everybody knows that. And so you need people to find ways to produce. We ask them to be very responsible and take care of the puck on both sides, but we’re gonna need some production.”
That may be a reference to Kyle Palmieri (one purpose), Zach Parise (zero targets) and the Identification Line (two mixed targets — each Casey Cizikas).
“It’s tough,” Cizikas stated when requested concerning the offensive struggles. “We’re working. That’s the thing is we’re working hard, we’re trying to get in those spots. We’re trying to get on those rebounds and they’re just not falling for us right now. I think that’s the frustrating thing is guys are working, guys are trying.”
The Islanders’ present points aren’t simply restricted to scoring, and even restricted to on-ice play. However their calamitous begin to the season now poses a severe risk to their playoff probabilities. This will probably be an uphill climb, and there’s nonetheless a methods to go earlier than the roster will probably be made complete once more.
So, some targets can be of assist.
“We’re staying positive,” Sebastian Aho stated. “We know what we can do.”
However the Islanders are working out of time to do it.