This isn’t the start anybody envisioned for the New York Islanders.
BROOKLYN, NY–This isn’t how the season was supposed to begin.
The plan was for the New York Islanders to take the next step after finally advancing to the second round of the postseason. But if the first couple of weeks of the 2016-17 campaign serves as an indicator of what’s to come, then Isles fans are in for a long season.
In hindsight, it seems like this all could have been prevented.
The Isles started off the season utilizing a three-goalie system, something that is wildly ineffective in the modern-day game. Despite Jaroslav Halak‘s claim that the triad is “not ideal,” none of the three netminders were traded during the offseason.
This created a less-than-ideal conundrum. Sure, talent is nice, but continuity is even nicer. According to agent Allan Walsh, the “goalies don’t get enough practice time to stay sharp.” Whether or not the statement was appropriate is irrelevant. All that matters is that it’s true.
What’s also true is that the Isles lost a significant amount of goal-scoring over the offseason. The team parted ways with three guys who consistently bury the puck in the back of the net, as Kyle Okposo, Frans Nielsen and PA Parenteau all went elsewhere.
The forwards the Isles signed — Andrew Ladd and Jason Chimera — have been uninspiring. Mathew Barzal, the highly-touted center who impressed the Isles’ coaching staff at every juncture, has struggled to garner minutes.
Some people blame that on Jack Capuano, the long-tenured and heavily scrutinized head coach of the Brooklyn-based squad. For years, fans have clamored for his firing. So far, he’s enjoyed relative job security, but with the new ownership, it’s debatable how long his leash will be.
It seems like Garth Snow had a rough offseason. But a wise fellow once said that “hindsight is 50/50.” The Isles have plenty of time to right the ship. The question: will they do it?