New York Islanders’ Playoff Dreams Likely Dead, But Still a Reason to Play

NEWARK, NJ - APRIL 08: Joshua Ho-Sang
NEWARK, NJ - APRIL 08: Joshua Ho-Sang /

I’ve finally come to the point that I can admit it; the New York Islanders will, in all likelihood, not make the Stanley Cup Playoffs this season. But there’s still a lot of purpose in these last few weeks.

As things currently stand, the New York Islanders (70 points) are eight points out of an Eastern Conference wild-card berth. Between them and the eighth-place, New Jersey Devils are the upstart Florida Panthers (75 points) and the hanging-around Carolina Hurricanes (71 points).

While a final playoff-push wouldn’t be impossible, it’s highly, highly, unlikely that the Islanders will indeed make a run. But that doesn’t mean these last thirteen games have no meaning.

The purpose of a lost season, whenever that designation is bestowed upon a team, is to shift into second gear; go from trying to secure a playoff berth (or more) to evaluating your team for the future.

Garth Snow and Doug Weight, whether they’re keeping their jobs or not, have to look at these next few weeks as a time to plan for this franchise’s future. Even if they are both fired at the end of the season, they still have a job to do right now.

New York Islanders’ out-of-the-race checklist

As I’ve said here before, I think it’s in the best interest of the New York Islanders to give Christopher Gibson a long, hard look in net over these last thirteen games.

He’s looked outstanding thus far and having him on board, playing sporadically (or more) over the next couple of years could bridge the gap to the Isles other netminding prospects.

More from Eyes On Isles

I truly believe Joshua Ho-Sang belongs up with the Islanders to finish out the season as well, so-called punishment-be-damned.

How he’s gone from the New York Islanders second-line to being a regularly-scratched or fourth-line player is beyond me.

Isles’ front-office must have a plan, right?

The team needs to put all of that aside and bring Ho-Sang up, if only just to showcase his skills leading up to an offseason trade.

But if he can show the Goof Troop upstairs that he is worth of NHL-minutes and he shows flashes of the former first-round pick, it’s a win-win situation for the Islanders.

If JHS does well, maybe the Isles would change their tune and include him in their future plans.

If they’ve already passed the point of no return with Ho-Sang’s “antics”, then there’s no better way (or bigger gamble, on the flip side of that coin) to increase his trade value than to show that he can play at this level.

Next: Sorokin Likely to Stay in KHL Thru 2020

These are both situations that the front-office and coaching staff will (hopefully) be monitoring as the 2017-18 season winds down. There are others, but are there any more important than these?