The Southern California trip that was supposed to do wonders for the New York Islanders has since blown up in their faces.
The trip that was supposed to help jump-start the Islanders season has all but buried their playoff chances.
After edging the Anaheim Ducks in a controversial shootout win, the New York Islanders went toe-to-toe against the Los Angeles Kings until allowing four goals in the last five minutes of the third period. Most disappointing of all was the lost point against the San Jose Sharks that saw Nick Leddy tie the game with Thomas Greiss pulled and with just under a minute left to play, only for the Islanders to concede the game-winner with 22.5 seconds left in the final period.
The most disappointing part of the Islanders past two losses isn’t just the fact that the games were lost. Rather, that they were lost in the final five minutes of the final frame. It is inexcusable at this point in the season to not want to call for Jack Capuano‘s head. The Islanders inability, as a team, to close out games, has cost them in the past and has cost them last week.
If you are largely unaware of how inept the Isles really are in the third period, then look no further than ESNY writer Justin Weiss‘ piece here. Listed in the article are eight games of the first 20 of the season in which the Islanders did not hold onto a lead, or allowed the game-winning goal with minutes left in the third period.
Since the article was written, the Islanders have blown a lead to the Pittsburgh Penguins, and allowed late game-winning goals to the Kings and Sharks. That’s 11 games total of the first 20 in which the Islanders did not hold onto a lead or tie.
The Final Push
I am in full realization that the SoCal trip was supposedly the Isles last chance, but they are within nine points of a playoff spot. It’s not impossible, but after this week if they do not sweep their next three games then hope is lost.
@islandersdaily sweep CGY/PIT/WSH next week and there's a glimmer of hope. Less than 5 points and I think they're done.
— Arthur Staple (@StapeNewsday) November 26, 2016
There it is on the Twitter-verse Isles fans. According to statistics, if the Isles are to make any final push, it needs to start tonight against Calgary. Anything less and the Isles are most likely golfing by April.
All that’s left to do is stand by the Islanders. Tickets are as low as $6 on StubHub for tonight’s game. Get out and cheer them on, the season is on the line after all.