Oh boy, this may rub some the wrong way being that I reside(kind of) in Long Island. Which was once home of the New York Islanders. I know some Long Island eyes will see this article. By no means am I going to hold back though, the Islanders were terrible this year plain and simple, they had their bright spots but their darker spots were more noticeable this season. Which left the Islanders ranked 22nd overall in the NHL with a 35-37-10 record, coming off a 41-29-12 record and missing the playoffs to posting a below .500 record and missing the postseason once again especially with how fresh that John Tavares double overtime goal is in the back of fans heads, the Islanders and their fans expect and want more. Being a New York team is difficult the pressure is on 24/7 and the media does not ever allow any player or anyone associated with the Islanders front office hide when times are tough.
The Islanders saw their rough spots this season, and a lot of chatter was behind the poor management of Garth Snow, Doug Weight being a new coach and the John Tavares contract. Luckily for Islander fans they did sign Lou Lamiorello, fired Snow and Weight but have yet to sign back Tavares yet.
What went wrong for the Islanders? A list of things, hurt back end, goaltending was ATROCIOUS, and they did nothing to fix any of it when they could have.
What went wrong?
- Biggest and most glaring issue was goaltending. The Islanders goaltender, Tomas Greiss, and Jaroslav Halak both completely bombed out and really let the Islanders down miserably. Greiss was expected to be their starter this season but well that went south quick. Halak came in to take back his job, and that hit the fan quickly. Halak posted a 3.19 GAA, .908 SV percentage and a 20-26-6 record while Greiss posted a 13-8-2 record with a 3.82 GAA, and .892 SV percentage. Need to say more? Reason A they are going after Philipp Grubauer at the moment.
- Defense lacked depth and injuries on the back end hurt them bad. Besides Nick Leddy’s 42 points and Ryan Pulock’s 32 points, the Islanders defenseman took a hit this year. Johnny Boychuk I mean is 34 years old no way he can do what he used to do. Calvin De Haan got hurt and missed 49 games this season, which left Adam Pelech and Scott Mayfield to draw into the line up more often. The Islanders had three rookie defenseman in their line up which is very difficult for a playoff hopeful team to do when they have some inexperienced players on their roster. The bright spot, the Islanders now have these defensemen with more experience.
- The Garth Snow reign left Islanders fans and the Islanders core with some problems. The Garth Snow problems lingered with the Islanders all year when they needed to add players to their roster when the playoff push was there, it never happened. When they need problems to be addressed Snow never did it. The Islanders had Snow leaving them with many problems that were to be handled by him, yet they saw no change and could not do anything. It was so bad they petitioned to have a sign stating “Snow must go” around Brooklyn, it did get hung, which showed the true colors of Snow and how Islander fans thought of him., but the bright spot he is gone.
Will things get better?
100 percent. Lamoriello will be running things now and look what he did in Toronto, plus. Barzal just won the Calder, produced 85 points, leading the team, and had one of the best rookie seasons in NHL history almost. They have Josh Ho-Sang waiting to get his chance, Kieffer Bellows coming up soon, Sebastian Aho who looked like a hopeful NHL defenseman, plus they have two 1st round picks and two 2nd round picks this draft. The only drawback is that John Tavares has yet to be signed, but many are hopeful he will return. They have agreed to a contract with Belmont Parks to be their new home, moving back to Long Island, are in the search for a new head coach. And for a team that finished 22nd overall, they did average 3.18 goals for per game and ranked 7th in goals for with 261. The Islanders had a bad season, yes, but things will be better next year for sure. Once they solidify a number one goaltender and get a head coach, and of course sign back Tavares, things will be on the up.