Islanders are Well-Perceived Internally
If the Islanders expect to make a deep playoff run, they need to have the backing of the front office. Despite having a bottom-half offense last season, Lou decided against adding a scorer at the trade deadline and famously did nothing to shake the team’s chemistry.
There is no way he did not need to add a goal-scorer because he thought that the Islanders already had sufficient offensive talent. The Islanders finished last season with 223 goals, good for 22nd in the league. That was 20 goals less than the Carolina Hurricanes, the next lowest-scoring Eastern Conference playoff team. It was those same Hurricanes who held the Isles to just five goals in an Eastern Conference Second Round playoff sweep.
Rather, Lou must have been hesitant to give up assets for a rental goal-scorer because he did not think the Islanders would make a deep run in the playoffs. That same reasoning could explain why the Isles also did not make a significant trade at the 2018 or 2017 trade deadlines (no offense, Brandon Davidson).
This season is different. Lou believes that the Islanders are serious contenders and was willing to go all-in at the trade deadline to prove it. Lou overpaid for defenseman Andy Greene and paid a hefty price for Pageau because he believes these players could push the Isles to the promised land. That has to boost the confidence among the rest of the Islander players.