The islanders return to the ice on Thursday night against the sharks and feel urgency for them.
“We dug a hole in ourselves,” Barry Trottz said in a zoom call Wednesday. “And the playoffs are like they are now.”
Isles has two stories in this four-night, three-game stretch. First, the good point. They can actually steal ice and have already regained five players from the COVID-19 protocol. Josh Bailey, Andersley, Adam Perek, Andy Green and Ross Johnston all practiced on Wednesday. Trotz said four out of five are likely to play Thursday (Johnston was usually an additional skater when he was healthy this year).
It’s as good as good news. After two postponements Behind the eight-game losing skid who saw the islanders fall on the standings, they finally regained their captain. They are finally starting to get healthy. The team that takes the ice on Wednesday may eventually resemble the New York Islanders.
“It was a great feeling to be there,” Lee said. “I spent some time away from the team during an apparently tough stretch. It’s not easy to stay home and in many ways a little helpless.”
Isles does not have Casey Sijikas, Zdeno Chara, Keefer Bellows (COVID-19), Block Nelson, Ryan Prock (lower body). But they are beginning to see the beginning of the end of this hell.
So now there are some difficult parts.
According to Elias Sports Bureau, the Islanders have scored only 12 points in 17 games and no team has rebounded to playoffs since 2003 when Isles himself scored 11 points with the same mark. This is the product of many situations. Four home games, including 13 game road trips and half of the roster consisting of AHL calls, are not official wins. But to play off, Isles needs to play the rest of the season at a blazing pace.
This weekend’s match will include three winning games against sharks on Thursday, Detroit on Saturday, and the Blackhawks on Sunday. And the islanders can’t afford to extend their losing streak for much longer.
“Our group has a lot of confidence in who we are and who should be on the ice,” Lee said. “I think it’s clear that it wasn’t the same place we wanted, so we’ll take it every day, game by game.”
Trotz compared the team’s current predicament to riding a moving train. Wednesday was the first day of their practice since Saturday — they weren’t even allowed access to the building when the team was shut down due to the COVID protocol.
“You need to splice it together,” Trotz said. “So the first step is to trend our game at least in the right direction.”
Trotz has found some positive points in the last four games played by the islanders. But the time of moral victory has long passed. The islanders entered the season hoping to compete for the Stanley Cup. Now they need to climb through the hole to get the chance to do it.
“If we had a backbone, we would dig deeper,” says Trotz. “And we have a backbone in this group, so I hope they dig deeper. [you] Know a lot about people in hot weather. When under pressure. “
So we are trying to find a lot about the islanders.
When the islanders face sharks, the “playoffs” begin now
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