Islanders Still in Playoff Hunt but are Defense and Goaltending Depth Holding Them Back?
Added by Jason Basalyga on March 28, 2013.
Will the Islanders put Brad Boyes on the trading block?
After a miserable week, the Islanders have won two games in a row and are back in playoff contention. Now in 9th place and just two points short of the eight slot, the Islanders will have to play at the top of their game for the season’s remaining 15 games. They close out the month with games against division rivals Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins.
One thing the Isle needs to focus on is their defense, having given up leads in all but two of the last seven games. This trend has to be addressed if the Islanders actually want to establish themselves as playoff competitors. Bringing in either a stand up d-man or a backup goaltender, that can give Evgeni Nabokov a break would be helpful. I should mention that Nabokov is the only goalie who has won a game in an Islanders uniform this season. That is asking a lot from any goaltender. But the Islanders and goaltender issues go hand in hand.
Things aren’t so bad that the Islanders have to win out the season but they do need to start playing with a desperation that we haven’t seen from them in a few years. One phenomenon that must be investigated is why the Islanders are absolutely terrible at home. Thankfully, only five of the final 15 games will be played at Nassau; great news for a team that is 6-11-2 in that building this season.
It seems like natural boosts in confidence are kryptonite for the NY Islanders. With the aforementioned terrible home record and their recent inability to maintain a lead, one has to wonder what is wrong with the mindset of this team. They have shown that they can compete with the best teams in the east. Is there a lack of confidence or is it a problem with overconfidence? Either way, this is something Garth Snow should have in the back of his mind.
There have been rumors of putting Brad Boyes on the trading block, hoping someone will want to scoop him up as a rental. This might not be a bad idea as he is going to be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season and has probably earned himself a bigger paycheck. If Garth Snow believes he’ll be able to re-sign Boyes, it would be foolish to let him go. I guess we’ll have to wait and see how that plays out.
There’s no time to rest. The Islanders face a struggling Flyers team that would love to play spoiler to the Isles’ playoff hopes on Thursday night; then close out the week to the still streaking Pittsburgh Penguins.