Spoke to a couple above my pay grade to get some takes that are a bit removed from the Isles fanbase, blogosphere and articles at large.
You may not agree with this… however let’s see if some of the points might resonate and create some clarity through the hysteria that is going on.
- Yes: the Record is bad. But it’s not the level of it being 30 games in. Have to remember it is still the start of the season and at this juncture just a 5 game winning streak could change everything. We are still under 15 games into the season.
- Clearly the veterans haven’t performed as well as expected. The opportunities seem to be there for some players… like Andrew Ladd… but not have been able to affect the outcome. As we saw last night, eventually, the vets should break through. Hopefully it can be built on. Veterans must improve performance.
- The NY Islanders are trying to figure out currently what is the most optimal line-up, due to all this. So this is why we are seeing some many different looks and line juggling.
- As for why we haven’t seen two kids… the notion floated is that perhaps Matthew Barzal hasn’t quite earned the extended looks and game starts. Something they seem to be working on in getting him to raise his level so when he is added to the lineup… they are getting a level they feel is necessary.
- As for the sentiment to play just the kids… CONVERSELY: there is the reality that there are players there who are being paid/under contract who need to earn what they are being paid.
- At 19, it isn’t the end of the world if Anthony Beauvillier misses a game. It’s not like him included into the lineup led to a desired outcome last couple of games. So it’s not the end of the world if he is sat to put something else in effect that hopefully can effect the outcome positively. Notice after all the melodrama yesterday, the team does get a win… even if against another hapless team. Lets see how it continues. By the way, Beauvillier’s stellar start in points per 60 min has dropped quite a bit, as of late. So if he is sat, it is due to the team wanting to see certain line and looks.
- The bottomline is that this team is STILL trying to find itself. Will it? Hard to say. But this is the process that is going on.
- Hysteria aside… 3pts in the first 3 games of the next 10gm stretch have been acquired. 1-0-2 is at least a better than the first 10. We will see how it goes.
- People want magic answers and magic bullets. No magic to be found. What has been intoned to me is that this season is a process. It a marathon, not a sprint. Can they get out of this? Hard to say. But the prevailing opinion is it is bit early for self-flagellation or declarations to play the kids, makes trades, or fire coaching staff. Instead: the Isles have been a bit more of a thoughtful demeanor… allowing this process to continue…. for better or for worse. This is what we are seeing play out.
- GOALTENDING: As I have been citing on twitter, the Islanders throughout these 13 games are NOT getting the goaltending. Even despite agent complaints, Halak has been given more practice time, and still his (and Greiss) high danger shot save percentage is still below their average. This all could change in one game. We will see. But the below-average goaltending has been consistent this season as cited by others within the organization as well. They are correct. The goaltending HAS been and continues to be subpar and below even last year’s average. That IS a problem and one that must change. The big item is in the high danger shots…. like the ones we see happening in the 3rd periods, where they lose leads.
The schedule only gets harder. Injuries, like the one to Travis Hamonic, are inevitable. It is why the Islanders focus on having depth.
However, what will determine their future this season are veteran performance and goalie performance. For better or worse, whether you, or I, or any other disappointed fan agree with it or not… this is what is taking place this season and being given room to work itself out. No coach change, impending trade (until near deadline), or anything else seems forthcoming.