New York Islanders: Playoff Bound But Remain Own Worst Enemy

The New York Islanders continue their very inconsistent and average play. Some might say they remain their own worst enemy as they head into the playoffs.

After last nights shootout loss if you were like me you sat there with your head tilted ever so slightly, as if you were a confused dog.  You kept repeating, “did it really happen again?”  Yes, the New York Islanders blew another lead and threw another much-needed point away.

We all know the team is in zero position to be giving up points as they flip-flop between the second and third seed with the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Metropolitan division.  The lone point puts them in second, but a sloppy loss as such does not do well on the teams already soft confidence.

Islander fans are more accustomed to at this time of the season being the team that is the playoff spoiler rather than a team fighting for a home ice advantage.

The Isles were solid in their own zone through most of the game last night.  They had their chances working the Columbus Blue Jackets defense in the offensive zone.  Still the result was a point lost.

As other playoff teams are tightening their belts and gearing up for Lord Stanley, the Isles are still struggling in finding their identity.  Not long ago their was a team in Uniondale that was like a pack of wolves.  They protected their home with their lives and attacked when on the road.

Fans are left wondering did the Isles peak?  Sure, injuries were an issue but their crosstown rivals The New York Rangers lost their starting keeper Henrik Lunqvist.  As Henry healed the blue shirts rallied around Cam Talbot.  Fast forward and the Rangers are the Metropolitan division champs, a position the Islanders held most of the season.

The Islanders have four games to figure themselves out.  There is no chance of the team advancing if they go into round one of the playoffs playing as unpredictable as they are now.

It is easy to point the finger at Jack Capuano.  The coach has made some questionable decisions throughout the season.  To his defense, his players forced him to play Court Jester juggling lines to get something going.  Is Capuano the scapegoat if this team fails and is one and done?

Capuano has made consistent attempts in trying to relight the fuse.  With that said, the argument turns back to is Capuano not getting the best out of his players.  If that’s the case then yes it is a coaching issue and Cappy will be removed.

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The secondary scoring went MIA.  The team needs another key player besides John Tavares, Anders Lee and Ryan Strome in generating offense.  Frans Nielsen plays a much greater role in the success of the team then many believe.  If Nielsen starts to get hot now the Isles will become the contenders that many believed they were just a few weeks back.  Kyle Okposo needs to find his legs and get his rhythm back.  Hopefully in the final few games of the regular season Okposo can do that.

The team  did not change.  They are still the same group we have all loved during this farewell season at the Nassau Coliseum.  They are closing out the Barn on a definite high note and have given us all reason to believe.  We fans have waited so long for a team like this.  A team that is not just built for just one season of success.

We are all well aware that this team is going to make a tremendous impact in this league for the coming years.  We want it now and that is a compliment to the team.  We believe in our players and know they are not a Cinderella story.  This is no fluke, the boys need to get hungry, angry, confident and become aware they are the team to beat.

Next: 5 Things To Watch Down The Stretch

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