Thursday, November 11, 2010

Westward Hole!

In what must be the quickest swing of fortune and fan emotion in the history of sports, the New York Islanders have gone from the top of their conference to the bottom. And it took fewer than three calendar weeks.

The Isles, who haven't even had a lead in any of the contests, have lost eight games in a row. It may get worse before it gets better, too, since the team will take on San Jose and Los Angeles before the week is through. Those squads are a lot better than the Anaheim team the Isles were shut out (1-0) by on Wednesday (11/10) night.

I was worried (and warned by other writers earlier this season) that goals might be hard to come by this season for the Islanders. The injury to Kyle Okposo only compounded the fear. But after a while a team has to play the hand they're dealt and find a way to at least compete each night. It looks right now as if the will to play, let alone win, has evaporated. The home announcers said as much after the broadcast.

I don't have the answers on how to turn this around. Fans, who tend to overreact, are calling for the ouster of Head Coach Scott Gordon. I don't believe that would change much with this team. Especially if he is just replaced by one of his assistants.

What I do know is that when you outplay, outshoot, and are given six power play chances against a team that played the previous night, you should be able to score at least a lone goal. The Islanders didn't, and now run the risk of returning home from California on a ten game losing streak.

Is it time to push the 'panic' button and make changes to the roster? I don't know. Would playing still-developing players like Travis Hamonic and/or Calvin DeHaan at the NHL level change things on defense? How do you add goals to an anemic offense?

If the Islanders want to climb out of their hole, they'll need to address these issues, and quickly.

2 comments:

Richard said...

I don't think that bringing up the young guys like Travis Hamonic or Calvin de Haan would be good additions at this stage in the game (but I do really like them both). We have a pretty young roster already, what we need is experience. I'm not sure what should be done to change how the islanders are doing. My thoughts are that it can only get better from here, if this is the "slump" that they are in for this season, better to get it out of the way early(now) rather than later when the games could be critical...

I really can't wait for Okposo to come back. I heard early december? Perhaps that is what is needed to invigorate the team.

Ken Dick said...

People are saying that the team hasn't quit on Gordon. That's a very good thing. But without Okposo or Streit and a great year from Moulson I don't know who can consistently score. Tavares clearly needs help on the ice to put up the points we all think he can.

Also, having really only one reliable goalie at this point isn't helping either. That's another sticky situation.

I am just tired of writing the same story month after month. I hope the team can get it turned around.

Thanks for reading.