New York Islanders: Fundamentals Are An Issue For Isles Defense

LAS VEGAS, NV - JANUARY 25: Cal Clutterbuck
LAS VEGAS, NV - JANUARY 25: Cal Clutterbuck /

The New York Islanders have some glaring issues on defense that need to be resolved. Their play has improved over the last couple of weeks but not to the point that there are no longer any concerns. The Isles could draw inspiration from an unlikely place.

The New York Islanders have been making way too many mistakes on defense. That’s not news to anyone. Even with the slight improvements they’ve made over the past couple of weeks, these are not the type of performances that will get the Isles into the tournament.

The Islanders (and their fans) can no longer use injuries as an excuse. These are all NHL players, no matter how old they are. Simple assignments and adjustments are part of playing this game, especially at its highest level.

The New York Islanders porous defense seems to have forgotten the basic fundamentals that they learned years ago. Granted, at this level, a split-second decision can make or break a team at any given time. But it’s the little things that good teams do that set them apart from their opposition.

And doing these little things the right way is not a part-time job. It takes commitment to the game plan set in place by the coaches. It takes teamwork. That’s the bottom line. Don’t clear the puck to the center of the ice. Be sure to cover your partner when the situation changes on the fly. Basic, simple fundamentals.

The New York Islanders should watch the US Women’s Olympic hockey team and take notes

I hope some of you had the chance to watch the US Women’s Hockey Team dismantle a tough Olympic Athletes from Russia team yesterday. I hope that New York Islanders head coach Doug Weight saw it too. And recorded it to show his team.

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These women, led by captain Meghan Duggan, Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson, and head coach Robb Stauber, are arguably the most fundamentally-sound team playing this game today. The cohesion, the communication, the BASIC FUNDAMENTALS!!!

The Isles could use two-to-three hours in the film room watching not one player miss their defensive assignments, not one player get down on themselves after making a mistake, and not one player ever give less than 100%.

Not to say that the New York Islanders have been playing all that terrible, but some of the mistakes that we’ve seen made over the course of this season on the defensive end have been inexcusable.

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If the Islanders want to remain in the playoff conversation and make a run at Lord Stanley’s punch bowl, they will need to get these issues straightened out, and quickly. Let’s hope Doug Weight already showed them the film of the USWHT and we see that inspiration at work.