it's one thing to beat up on bad teams like the Philadelphia Flyers or the Arizona Coyotes, it's another to beat good teams. Teams in playoff positions. You know, teams the New York Islanders are chasing. And the Isles haven't been good against playoff teams,
Andrew Gross tweeted out a depressing stat after the 3-1 loss to the Leafs. Apparently, the Islanders are 2-10-3 against playoff teams and are outscored 46-21 in the process. That's horrendous.
A game against the Maple Leafs was a real test for the Islanders. A test they sadly failed.
New York Islanders fail test against good team
And there's no one scapegoat in this one. The Islanders didn't lose because Oliver Wahlstrom was made a healthy scratch due to a bad turnover against the Coyotes. They didn't lose because Varlamov let it a Charmin soft goal with four-tenths of a second left in the first (though it certainly didn't' help). They didn't lose because Barzal was essentially invisible during the game.
It was all of that and more. Lost puck-battles, poor decision making in the defensive zone, no decisiveness on the power play. All of it together is why the Islanders lost.
And that's a massive problem. When one player making one bad play is the problem the fix is relatively easy. But the issue with the Islanders are multi-system failures. At least when it comes to playing the good teams.
There were widespread issues on the team tonight and that won't be fixed so easily.
Losses are going to happen from now through April. But in order to minimize those they need to fix these issues currently plaguing them when the spot light is on or else these is no way a trip to the playoffs is remotely possible.