It's amazing how quickly things turnaround in this league.
You look at Detroit's losing streak, Philadelphia's streak, Ottawa's long losing streak earlier and there are just trends that clubs get into where they simply cannot win a game. Then you start to see a few signs that they are getting close to coming out of the losing streak and out of nowhere games they were finding ways to lose becomes games a team suddenly win out of nowhere.
Very few clubs are as bad as they are when they are in a losing streak and few teams are as good as the winning streaks they go on.
Usually things meet somewhere in the middle.
So why are the Isles winning?
1. Anyone who watched them play in Pittsburgh saw a team that finally seemed to be over the flu and were skating better and showed signs they were ready to break the losing streak. Some of that was about the call ups and younger legs but you could see it in the veterans as the shifts and skating were better overall and it carried over to the Minnesota game where they should have won in regulation and finally the Flyer game where they broke through against a club in a deep slump themselves.
2. Once the Isles got a win things started to turn where they were the club playing tired teams (Toronto/Atlanta) and had the confidence to outwork them and show some confidence in what they were doing. A funny thing happened along the way, Isles were taking so many shots the other team did not have the puck as much so there was less pressure on the team defense.
3. As much as the Isles miss Brendan Witt on the backline the overall speed Johnson, Berard and Bergeron add to the group is an asset. When you combine that with the younger legs on the roster it does help this team get more chances and quality chances. So far that group is not being eaten alive with turnovers, mistakes in front of DiPietro and are doing their part on offense and they do have a little chemistry going for themselves that could end with Sutton out.
4. Some breaks sure do not hurt and Guerin's backhand landing next to Hilbert hustling is a break they made for themselves. In the Carolina home ot loss the Canes got some bounces to take a game Isles led 2-0. Over eight two games things do even out if you work hard most of the time.
5. No denying the club has shown some sustained scoring in the recent games and getting it from almost everyone. We know that scoring has been the club's achilles heel all season, will that trend resurface and hinder them with a power play that looked lost yesterday after dominating in Toronto?
So now the big question is what happens next.
The Sharks game had a lot of poor trends and the hard work was missing and the Sharks were the team slumping and tired.
That disallowed goal the Isles overwhelmed the San Jose defense and goalie and Bergenheim put in the kind of goal that cannot be stopped and seemed to take away the kind of goals they worked for against Atlanta and that momentum. The refs had something to do with this yesterday but that extra jump was not there, granted they played a good (but slumping) Sharks club that knows how to play one goal games, Isles stole a game but now we see what club takes the ice against Washington.
Ted Nolan always says one thing you can control is your effort. I want to see the skating and the quickness against Washington. To keep winning that's where it starts.
This team must keep winning. Club's three games over five hundred do not make the playoffs in this league.
Those teams struggling likely will be winning soon, trends change and slumps end.
Isles have four games against Philadelphia in March.