The NY Islanders winning streak was one big tease that duped fans into believing

New York Islanders v Detroit Red Wings
New York Islanders v Detroit Red Wings / Gregory Shamus/GettyImages

I’m angry and annoyed. Not because the New York Islanders are unlikely to be part of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. I always knew that was a distinct possibility, as any honest fan did, but the way this season transpired has been pretty cruel, even by post-dynasty Islanders standards.

Before the six-game win streak, I was content with not caring about defensive breakdowns, ill-timed penalties, and bad goals allowed. I had come to the conclusion that the changes being implemented by Patrick Roy wouldn’t take hold until next year, and that would be the reason for hope and optimism heading into the off-season. I wanted to see progress in some areas with the expectation there would be more tweaks to the roster come the summer.

And then, they decided to win and look really good doing it. They were playing fast; they were playing, dare I say it smart, and you thought, maybe, just maybe, the Islanders were clicking all together at the exact right time to make the post-season and be a dangerous first-round team to play against.

I wasn't going to be fooled into believing they could compete with the Florida Panthers, New York Rangers, or Carolina Hurricanes, but this team isn’t rebuilding or even retooling, so playing meaningful hockey games in April and attending home playoff games was going to have to be good enough as the realistic goal. I know some think this is accepting mediocrity, but the fans don't make the decision on the direction of the team, and this is hockey; strange things happen come the spring and best-of-seven playoff series.

What was the alternative? Having the 15th pick in the draft instead of the 18th? That was a good enough reason for me to want to believe that GM Lou Lamoriello's move to relieve Lane Lambert of his coaching duties was giving this team the bump they needed to start playing their best hockey of the season and at the most opportune time. We've seen it happen for other franchises, why not us?

However, they say winning is the best deodorant, and right now, it feels that all that winning streak did was camouflage this team’s deficiencies for a few weeks. We’re now back to them saying how important these games are and then following it up with an effort that is no where near where it needs to be. Roy can talk about how they have deserved better and aren't getting rewarded for their efforts, but there's no excuse for their failure to find a way to capture points in the last six games.

They’ll probably tease us one more time before this season comes to an end and perhaps even sneak into the final playoff spot if they get enough help along the way. It’s just that this team hasn’t given them any reason to trust them, and we, as fans, should proceed accordingly if by some miracle they end up trying to reel us back in one more time.