After last season the Islanders caught the attention of the hockey world and won the hearts of their fans.
They made the playoffs for the first time in 7 years and gave top seeded Pittsburgh Penguins all they had. Their roster had some young players and had room to improve.
The Islanders have been the ultimate disappointment this year with a year that had so much hope. The Islanders are currently 9-19-7 with 25 points and are 10 points out of the final playoff spot in the Metropolitan division. They have lost 13 of their last 14 and have not had a regulation win in 16 games.
Nothing as really gone right for this team. They now how the worst penalty kill in the league and struggle to keep the puck of their own net. After trading for Thomas Vanek 11 games into the season many people thought this could be the player they needed.
Well it was the player they actually did not need. Thomas Vanek is a big time goal scorer but it cost the Islanders Matt Moulson. Moulson has been a 30 goal machine since being inserted into the Islanders lineup on a nightly basis. He also a high amount of chemistry with Isles superstar John Tavares.
It is hard to sometimes replace that chemistry that guys have. Clearly, Vanek was not the solution for a team that got off to a slow start. It actually made the team that much worse. They have only won 5 games since he has been acquired and has been a disappointment so far.
It started in the offseason when Islanders GM Garth did not really address any holes the team had. They were in need of some defenseman and there was no pick ups made in that department. They were also question marks in net with young unproven goalie Kevin Poulin and older Goalie Evgeni Nabokov. There were no goalies picked up as well. Clearly they felt that the same exact team from last year was the answer.
With the slow start to the season those holes had soon become noticeable. The defense was losing assignments and would leave guys open all over the ice. Nabokov started to show some signs of age and was letting up soft goals on a nightly basis. Islanders fans thought they could make a move to help these areas.
The Islanders instead though it would be better to address zero of those needs and trade their best player on their roster beside John Tavares. This was not the answer clearly as the Islanders are now in last place. Moulson would always find the back of the net some way or somehow. He was never in the penalty box and was out there playing every night.
Some players have also not lived up to some expectations. Players like Michael Grabner and Josh Bailey. Grabner especially has been a huge disappointment. After scoring 2 goals on opening night he has not found the back of the net since.
Islanders could be optimistic and say that the division is wide open and they are only 10 points out. You never know they could find that mojo they had last year, but it seems like there are too many holes and the moment with no quick fix. It could just be another typical brutal Islander season.