The NY Islanders Look Lost Amid 5-Game Losing Streak

Carolina Hurricanes v New York Islanders
Carolina Hurricanes v New York Islanders / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

Last night was difficult to watch as the NY Islanders dropped their fifth straight game, accumulating a single point out of a possible ten.

The Isles came out of the gate strong, applying pressure on the Carolina Hurricanes defense and goaltender Pyotr Kochetkov. Unable to slip one past the goaltender and jump out to a much-needed early lead, the Isles instead found themselves trailing after a Seth Jarvis pass found its way between the wickets of Ilya Sorokin and into the goal. From there, it was all downhill.

The 'Canes added two more goals, as Jake Guentzel slipped a puck to Jarvis, catching four Islanders players in the zone puck watching, as Jarvis hurled the puck into what was essentially an open goal. The third goal came in the waning moments of the period as Martin Necas entered the zone with the Isles shorthanded, seemingly splitting four defenders and roofing the puck into the top corner. The Isles were booed off the ice by their home fans and deservingly so.

The Hurricanes are one of the top teams in the NHL and are considered one of the Stanley Cup favorites after the acquisitions of Guentzel and Evgeny Kuznetsov at the trade deadline. It was always going to be a difficult game for the Islanders, but in three prior games this season, the Isles held a 2-0-1 record against the team that eliminated them from postseason play last season.

Understandably, the Islanders lost to a team of Carolina's caliber, but the problem is the fashion they did it in. For over 30 minutes the Islanders looked lost and like they had no desire to be there. Despite their four-game losing streak before last night, they were still in the thick of the playoff race, with the teams surrounding them in the standings floundering. But still, the team had little jump in what was a massive game.

If this game was played with Lane Lambert behind the bench, fans would be calling for his job. Patrick Roy has had only two months with this team and is still trying to implement his style of play, so little fault can be blamed on the bench boss, who did however take some of the blame claiming he allowed some of his players to remain on the ice too long taking extended shifts.

There's only so much a coach can do, as it ultimately comes down to the players on the ice to perform. Pierre Engvall was made an example of last night, as he was healthy scratched and replaced by Hudson Fasching.

"I wasn't too happy about his play lately," said Roy. "Sometimes just have a night off, watching the game from upstairs, and he'll probably be back in the lineup against Detroit."

Roy also touched on the fact that John Tortorella healthy scratched Flyers' captain Sean Couturier last night, and his team responded by beating the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-3. Maybe Roy is considering doing the same with some of the Islanders' top players underperforming, not just bottom of the lineup players.

The clock is ticking on the season, with last night being the final straw for many fans. The Islanders face a rough stretch of games, taking on the Detroit Red Wings, Winnipeg Jets, NJ Devils, Florida Panthers, and Tampa Bay Lightning in their next five games. They'll have to steal a few points to keep themselves in the race or they'll be out of it before the season's final month.