Stadium Series loss has NY Islanders fans doubting if the playoff push will come

2024 Navy Federal Credit Union Stadium Series - New York Rangers v New York Islanders
2024 Navy Federal Credit Union Stadium Series - New York Rangers v New York Islanders / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

After suffering their worst loss of the season (so far) against the New York Rangers, fans are questioning whether or not it's even worth it at this point for the New York Islanders to continue to vie for a playoff spot. As fans, we sound like broken records, as it feels like every loss has become their "worst loss of the season," but Sunday might actually take the cake. The Isles were on the biggest stage of the season for the Stadium Series and playing against their biggest rivals.

They came out the gate swinging and, despite going down 1-0 early in the first period, scored three consecutive goals to come back 4-1. After all that, the Islanders miraculously blew that lead to 4-3, got back on the board after a fluky goal by Alexander Romanov, and SOMEHOW, after all of that, blew a 5-3 lead and lost the game in overtime. At this rate, had the "loser point," which made NHL fans have recently coined the "Islanders point," not counted, the Isles wouldn't be anywhere near a playoff spot.

Just counting their 22 regulation wins, the Islanders would have just 44 points, putting them tied for last in the Metropolitan Division and the Eastern Conference with the Columbus Blue Jackets and 28th overall in the league. None of these stats really matter because the Isles sit just two points back of New Jersey for 4th in the Metro and six points back of the Detroit Red Wings for the second Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference. This means the playoffs are still tangible, with 28 games left.

In all honesty, as much as I love playoff hockey and have gone to virtually every playoff game I have been able to, and I would love to see the Islanders make it, it may not be the right move for them to keep pushing. With how many blown leads this team has had all season (15 to be exact), it's hard to imagine this Islanders team doing any damage in the playoffs.

They can't seem to play a full 60 minutes, and as much as some of the stats show they have been improving under Patrick Roy and newly hired assistant Benoit Desrosier, there's still too much improvement to be done, and too many corrections to be made over the final 29 games.

Per Rob Taub, the Isles have had 14 games in which they have taken at least one penalty during the third period, which led to either a game-tying or a game-winning goal. Panicking and taking bad penalties is rule number one on the what-not-to-do list in the NHL playoffs, and the Isles seem to be unable to fix that mindset and put a halt to taking so many penalties at inopportune times.

As I look more and more at this team, as much as we would all love to see them make the playoffs, it may be better to use the long off season to reset. This team needed a reset after the hiring of Patrick Roy and with other potential changes coming to an aging lineup, a long off season to rest, may be just what both the Islanders players, coaching staff and front office need rather than focusing on a trophy that doesn't seem to be anywhere near their reach.