December – Injuries
Record: 5-8-2 (20-15-4 5th in Metro)
December is where the slide started. After a great November, the New York Islanders just couldn’t keep it going. And for some reason, injuries were made to be the scapegoat.
As the old saying goes: injuries are never the problem. (It’s not a deep or convoluted saying, it’s pretty direct).
In December both Calvin de Haan and Johnny Boychuk suffered injuries that kept them out of the lineup long-term. In de Haan’s case, it has kept him out of the lineup the entire season.
And without the two the Isles slid to 5-8-2 over the last month of 2017. Injuries were an issue for the team. Both the coach and GM made sure we knew about it. But was it really? Was missing Calvin de Haan and Boychuk the death blow this team could ill afford?
de Haan only went out with injury on December 17th and Boychuk only went down on December 27th. Both were in the lineup as the team went 2-5-1 for the first half of December. That’s not a record that would suggest they were keeping the team afloat.
The Islanders didn’t have the defensive roster to compete at the NHL level. That was obvious even with Boychuk and de Haan in the lineup.
With two first-round picks and two second-round picks, and a ton of promising youngsters, they had the assets to address the issue. They didn’t. (I’ll get the trade deadline).
By the end of December the Islanders would have fallen four spots, and never looked back as the tailspin continued.