Before yesterday's loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning, Lou Lamoriello met with Islanders season ticket holders. He explained his disappointment in the season, and also was quoted saying “several of our players have not lived up to their expectations.”
What I was wondering was can we figure out who those players are that maybe haven't lived up to the expectations. Here's who I was able to come up with (in no particular order):
Man, it felt like 2014 levels of Josh Bailey for this year. There was an 18 game stretch where Josh Bailey didn't score a goal. Too many times he's been too pass-happy and not willing to take the shot this season. He needs to be moved to a third line role next season, and if he does they will likely get better value on Josh but top-six and power play Josh Bailey days are over.
Islanders fans love to give Barry Trotz a hard time for his usage of Oliver Wahlstrom. Some of the questions are justified but for the majority of this season Oliver Wahlstrom has severly underwhelmed. He went 20 games with just one goal. He's been with Mathew Barzal and Zach Parise recently, and there may be something there, but overall a pace of 17 goals over a full season wasn't the leap that the Islanders were hoping for.
Anthony Beauvillier being on pace for 13 goals is fairly disappointing. I guess this is just what he is, an incredibly inconsistent winger, but I was hoping that after last season he'd be a little bit more consistent for the Islanders. He may be better suited as a trade chip for the Islanders than a building block piece going forward.
First-Half Kyle Palmieri
Man, this has been like two different seasons completely for Kyle Palmieri. In the first 29 games he had seven points and one goal. Over his last 22 games, he has 10 goals and 16 points. It's night and day the difference. If in 2022-2023, the Islanders can get back the 25 goal and 50 point Kyle Palmieri, for a full season instead of half of a season they'll be okay.
It's hard to crush JG Pageau, because he does so much for this team, but the goal scoring really hasn't been there. He's on pace for just 37 points and 13 goals. The Islanders need his goal total to be up closer to 20 on the season in addition to all the intangibles that he brings.
He's been better recently, but a .914 save percentage and a 2.81 goals against average from Semyon Varlamov is underwhelming. The Isles decided to keep him at the trade deadline, maybe they still look to move him in the offseason but he took a significant step back from where he was last season with this team.
I can't say that Andy Greene and/or Zdeno Chara did anything that I thought they wouldn't. Big Z had a tough start but he's been okay (not good, just okay) after settling in here. I don't think there's one guy on the blue line that you can single out and say, yeah they didn't do exactly what we thought they would this season.