The title of the post is misleading. The season, at least with respect to making the playoffs, has probably already slipped away. The Isles dropped another game on Saturday afternoon, this time 3-2 to the Boston Bruins. The team's record stands at 26-31-8, fourth from the league's bottom.
What's worse, players who had been scoring at regular intervals have suddenly found themselves unable to put anything past opposing goaltenders. We don't know if it's fatigue, inexperience, or some unknown influence, but John Tavares hasn't lit the lamp in 18 games. Kyle Okposo, the team leader in points, has a single goal in his last twelve. Matt Moulson, who netted a puck on Saturday, had been held to just a solitary goal in his prior seven contests. A similar statement could be said for Josh Bailey in his last nine.
Compound that with this team's injuries on defense and an unsettled goaltending situation, and it spells unhappiness. That was palpable from both losing goalie Dwayne Roloson and the coach, Scott Gordon, after the game. Both men opined that the team is not where it should be considering the style of successful hockey they had been playing earlier this calendar year.
Gordon blamed mental mistakes and said he had addressed his concerns to the team. But after banking a power play goal earlier in the game, the team failed to score on a 5 minute major triggered by a check from behind on Blake Comeau. Failing to capitalize on breaks and not creating chances have spelled doom for the Isles all season long.
While the record indicates a better record than last season, it still feels as if this team is on a never-ending tape loop of last season's "highlights." Let's hope that something changes for the positive soon.