I've been holding out hope that the New York Islanders could eventually pull themselves out of their funk and into a playoff spot. I held out hope for a long time, but the 6-3 loss to the Sabres was the metaphorical straw that broke my hopes back. It's over.
The mathematical possibility is still there for them to pull this off. But the likelihood of that happening is...well the odds aren't at all in the realm of possibility.
And look, calling the season over isn't because they lost the Sabres. It's how they lost to the Sabres. A refrain we've all been repeating for some time now. It's not that they lost, but how they lost.
New York Islanders embarrassing loss puts and unofficial end to season
The game-winning goal by Victor Olofsson was the one that sticks out the most to me. If you forgot what the goal looked like (because maybe you're trying to repress the memory) here it is:
There's a lot going on there. From two forwards going down low, which Trotz confirmed is not part of the Isles D-zone system, Chara can't stop the clear cross-slot pass, and Sorokin can't stop a stoppable shot.
Each one of those is in and of itself bad, but what makes it worse is when this goal happens. Olofsson's shot hits the net at 17:05 of the third period. With 2:55 left in regulation in a tied game, the Islanders, as a collective, fell asleep at the switch.
The hallmark of the Islanders at their peak was attention to detail. It was the ability to tighten up and not get caught napping. Specifically in the final few minutes of the game. That one play on Olofsson's goal, combined with the score of the game as well as the team's record leading up to this game was the final straw.
I'm certainly not the first to call the season. Some may be saying: "What took you so long?!" I just really didn't want to be here and admittedly kept moving the goalposts on calling the season. I can't keep doing it. It's time to strictly focus on retooling the squad.