New York Islanders Fall Is All That’s Left of 2016-17 NHL Season

Wednesday night brought another disappointing loss in a New York Islanders season that has had more than its fair share.

In the midst of the New York Islanders post game frustration I was reminded of a scene from The Lion In Winter. Henry II’s three sons are locked in the cellar, awaiting what they think will be their execution.

They hear King Henry enter the cellar and Richard (played brilliantly by a 31-year-old Anthony Hopkins) says with a stiff upper lip that he won’t give Henry the satisfaction of seeing him beg. This leads his brother Geoffrey to scoff at him, “You chivalric fool… as if the way one fell down mattered.”  Richard the Lionheart responds:

“When the fall is all there is… it matters.”

The New York Islanders’ chances of making the playoffs now sits at 5%. They have scored three goals in the last three games against teams that allow an average of three goals per game. I think the 5% is high.

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Its impossible to tell what the front office has planned as mum’s the word from Garth Snow and Jon Ledecky. The laundry list of things this team can do is long though and there’s no reason to wait for the off season to start crossing things off.

Be a seller at the deadline.  Move heaven and earth to get a star-level scoring talent and cut

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down the number of things we can lose in the expansion draft.

Find a new coach. Find a new GM. Both. Either. For God’s sake do something that will show the Islander fan base that accountability is not dead. The Jack Capuano experiment had run its course two years ago. The fact that Garth Snow has stuck with him this long speaks to his incompetence as well. They should both be gone, but someone needs to get scapegoated for the sake of the fan base’s sanity ASAP.

Figure out a better way to develop the talent that’s supposedly in our system. A way that doesn’t involve Anthony Beauvillier sitting on his butt while we score one goal a game. A way that doesn’t involve using players in ways that run contrary to the skill-set that we drafted them for.

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Lastly, do anything not listed above that will help the team work toward retaining John Tavares. Some people have been talking about how he hasn’t been producing. That’s ridiculous. He’s the only star on this team. If he doesn’t extend this off-season, next season will be a circus. If he doesn’t sign here, we might as well go back to the beginning of the rebuild and  NO ONE wants that.

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Even though the Islanders hopes of taking another step forward are all but gone, there is no excuse for this team not to improve. There is plenty they can do to set themselves up to return to form next season. Not doing anything in the name of arbitrarily waiting for the off season is nothing short of inexcusable.