New York Islanders Still Lacking Identity as Stretch Run Begins

March 6th, 2012 by Carl Stoffers Leave a reply »
As they enjoy a few well deserved days off before resuming their trilogy against the New Jersey Devils, the Islanders sit in 13th position in the Eastern Conference, seven points out of a playoff spot. The team has played a schizophrenic brand of hockey this season, showing signs of hope (wins against playoff teams New Jersey and Boston last weekend) and despondency (the collapse against Washington and subsequent beating in Philadelphia last week). So, with the trade deadline having passed, and the Isles still proving to be one of the most difficult teams in the NHL to define, the burning question is: Where do the Islanders go from here?

Certainly, a playoff berth is numerically still a possibility, but with the “one step forward, two steps back” pattern that the Isles have followed this season, does anyone really believe they can string together enough wins to claw their way into the top eight?

The trade deadline brought about the welcome departure of Brian Rolston, the 39-year-old forward who registered a meager nine points in 49 games, along with journeyman defenseman Mike Mottau. The two veterans were dealt to the Boston Bruins for minor leagu ...

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