After a rough week both on-and-off the ice, the New York Islanders are starting to come together in a big way. The win-for-the-ages over Detroit had the franchise and the fanbase feeling pretty pumped. The tough loss last night must be forgotten.
First things first. That was an ugly third period and a very disappointing loss. But besides that, did you all see New York Islanders rookie Ross Johnston literally break the facial bones of Ryan Lomberg?? That could have been one of the most one-sided fights I’ve ever seen.
Add Roscoe’s Chicken & Waffles (my name for Johnston’s right and left hands) to Johnny Boychuk connecting on four punches with his back on the ice on Friday and the Isles are suddenly coming alive.
Doug Weight‘s new lines seem to be getting along fairly well. The Islanders defensive play has looked better over the past few games, aside from their usual handful of hiccups. There’s a sense of desperation to this group since they suffered yet another injury to their corps in Scott Mayfield. They just need to find a way to bring it all together and play better.
The New York Islanders should still most definitely be exploring all of their options as we get closer to the NHL trade deadline on February 26. Isles GM Garth Snow has been at the center of a blank-storm for the past month or so due to his reluctance to make a move that the Islanders desperately need (and have needed for some time).
More from Eyes On Isles
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- Islanders Zdeno Chara trending in the right direction
- Islanders: Semyon Varlamov Deserves Benefit of the Doubt
- Islanders Ilya Sorokin becoming number one goalie
- Islanders Zach Parise Was Quiet in Return to Minnesota
New York Islanders need to get hot now and ride it all the way through to April
If the New York Islanders can continue to improve, they will keep themselves not only in the race for a wild-card spot, they could make a move for one of the top-three Metro Division playoff berths.
Realistically, if the Islanders can string together, say, five wins in a row, there’s an outside possibility they’d find themselves towards the top of the division.
Imagine what a big-time trade for a top-four defenseman would do to this team’s playoff chances?
Boychuk is back and looking to be at 80% or so, which is still pretty good. Nick Leddy, though making more mistakes than he has in the past, is still Nick Leddy. Adam Pelech and Ryan Pulock are both developing into fine players in their own right.
Throw in any of the available defensemen that the Islanders could target and plug them into any spot in the group, and the Islanders will find out very quickly what good defense can do for a team with a historically-potent offense.
Even though the New York Islanders let two points slip away last night, they are coming together at a most opportune time. If they can find their groove, make a move, and quit taking periods off, we may just have something here.