New York Islanders Let Playoff Spot Slip Away Against Leafs
The New York Islanders were supposed to have a game Tuesday night in Toronto. Unfortunately, the team was nowhere to be found and as a result, the Maple Leafs got the free win.
New York Islanders Head Coach Doug Weight had this to say about the abysmal outcome last night:
Thank goodness Doug Weight’s post game demeanor is infinitely more palatable than Jack Capuano’s. There aren’t too many things you can say after a 7-1 loss to a division opponent in the thick of a playoff race.
I especially like the way he acknowledges that it wasn’t a lapse in work ethic, but a lapse in structure. It’s an important distinction to make and in a team that has, under previous management, looked consistently unstructured, it is what I would expect when a high-pressure game goes south.
There are still plenty of games left to play and even being in striking distance after the Islanders start to the season is remarkable.
What many Islanders fans find irksome is that tonight’s loss to the Maple Leafs begs to be looked at in the light of both teams’ respective rebuilds. One of which is looking much shorter than the other.
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What Could Have Been
It doesn’t feel good to think about the ten year Islanders rebuild when you see what the Maple Leafs have put together in three short years. It is hard to see all the young talent on the Maple Leafs’ roster and not lament all the young players on the Islanders that were traded, didn’t pan out, or haven’t arrived yet (or if they ever will at all).
It is even harder still to look at young Auston Matthews and what he’s doing and not wonder what John Tavares might’ve accomplished with the right personnel.
All of this conjecture is, as most conjecture is, meaningless. Auston Matthews might be a one season wonder. The Leafs could collapse and the Islanders could win out the season.
Unfortunately, the narrative basically writes itself, making it impossible to imagine more positive outcomes. Especially after such a drubbing such as last night and in light of all that’s gone wrong this season.
Next: Tavares' All Time Scoring
There are still 27 games before the end of the season. The potential for a redemptive trade deadline ahead of us. It has been a long road to the middle for Islanders fans, but the road goes on nonetheless.