The Deke Squad - Issue No. 3: Thomas Vanek, Post-Season Play, & Islander Goaltending

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QUESTION #1

May 7, 2013; Uniondale, NY, USA; New York Islanders defenseman Mark Streit (2) celebrates his goal with teammates during the second period against the Pittsburgh Penguins in game four of the first round of the 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Should Islander fans still hold onto their hopes for a playoff berth this coming May? What’s your take on the playoff picture?

 EB: I think it will be tough, but this team is very resilient. They basically had no choice but to sweep the Rangers. Obviously that went awry.

Now losing 4 straight, they’ve been going through a tough stretch, holding their own as best they can. They should have won last night and against the Blues, we all know that. The other night vs Boston? Well, a good goalie keeps them in it. Poulin, in my opinion, is not the answer and never was.

RDR: Poulin has played as expected: brilliant in spurts, but not enough consistency to merit a top spot and the confidence of Garth Snow NOT to look elsewhere to solve his goaltending issues.

As for making an unprecedented run to the playoffs: the Isles are just the team to do it, but only if Nabokov is healthy and playing inspired hockey. If I’m the rest of the Eastern Conference, I wouldn’t want to face a team like the Islanders in the postseason if they make it, because it would mean that their level of play is something of legends.

But my gut, which is round and plentiful these days, tells me their chances are slim to none. People forget that the reason the Isles made it last season had everything to do with their brilliance and the Devils’ collapse. I don’t see a team in the Metro division, and in the Eastern Conference for that matter, taking a nose-dive in the standings as we speak.

CT: You know, guys, I’ve been saying it for a while: if the Islanders get into a playoff spot, it won’t be until the middle of March. There is too much ground to make up after falling into the hole they dug themselves in back in November. Hope? Sure, but it’s going to be a slow crawl. I suggest everybody stop watching the standings. That will drive anyone mad. As long as the Islanders win their games, they will catch somebody.

All bias and fandom aside: Do you think the Islanders have a legitimate chance at making the playoffs this season?

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