NY Islanders HC Patrick Roy says team "feels" they are getting better despite results

Feb 8, 2024; Elmont, New York, USA; New York Islanders head coach Patrick Roy coaches against the
Feb 8, 2024; Elmont, New York, USA; New York Islanders head coach Patrick Roy coaches against the / Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports

New York Islanders fans are starting to grumble at some of Patrick Roy's post-game comments following consecutive losses to the St. Louis Blues and Tampa Bay Lightning that have the Isles fading further out of the Eastern Conference playoff picture.

When hired, Roy stated publicly and to the team that it was playoff hockey from here on out, given where the Isles were in the standings. Well, thus far, they have a 4-5-3 record since Roy's arrival. If that's their version of playoff hockey, then they are showing why they don't deserve to be there.

Roy is trying to take the short-term view simultaneously with the long-term one.

Of course, he wants the Islanders to win games and make the playoffs. That's been and remains the stated goal with 25 games left to play in the regular season, but he's also evaluating how well they adapt to his new system and points of emphasis. That's why, even after losses, his tone sounds more optimistic than fans want to hear. He's seeing progress, even if the team isn't seeing enough wins.

"I cannot say we had a bad game. That's what I said to them [the team] after the second period, Roy shared after the team's 4-2 loss to the Lightning. "It was tight out there, there was no room, it was like a playoff hockey game where there were barely chances on both sides."

The Islanders found themselves is a 2-0 early hole in the first period shortly after Bo Horvat's game-tying goal was overturned because of Anders Lee being off-side. For the second straight game, a small period of time put them back on their skates the rest of the way. It was three goals in 32 seconds in St. Louis, followed by two goals at 1:12 on Saturday afternoon.

They outshot Tampa Bay 34 to 21 and allowed just eight high-danger scoring chances, though some of that can be attributed to the Lightning protecting a lead for 55 minutes.

"I know the wins are absent at this moment," Roy continued. "But I believe, that every day we take a step forward, it's a step closer to success. I think they feel it. They feel like, defensively, we're playing better. I think they feel that we're cutting down on turnovers. I think they feel that we're better on our breakouts. Offensively, we have some puck possession."

Roy believes if the Islanders keep taking strides defensively, good things will happen. However, having those good things happen in time to make the playoffs is looking less and less likely.