This time it's going to be far different than the last three of four years.
Many of those seasons, the club had massive injuries, that either lingered into the season or hit the club in camp, then accumulated. What could be done with Sillinger, Comrie, Weight, Guerin, DiPietro, Hunter with so many others but wait?
This time no excuses can be given, even if last year's even strength scoring did struggle badly early and some things are similar with Mottau and Eaton, it's not.
A year ago, it was reasonable losing Okposo and Streit to injury, and expect it to catch up with them which it was already doing at 4-1-2, same as Scott Gordon's first year or Ted Nolan's final month when the injury count shot up to a league leading four hundred two games lost.
All those teams led the NHL in man games lost to injury, by huge differentials vs most other clubs.
Not the case in 2011-12.
Twenty one periods of New York Islander Hockey in 2011-12. One acceptable period against a Tampa team throwing pucks in their own net, that could not get out of their own way for twenty minutes.
That represents the bulk of the scoring at five on five beyond Mark Streit point shots redirected by forwards into the net, or an odd broken play. (Moulson's goal against Rangers)
The new forwards brought in do not look in sync at all, the returning forwards seem effected by it. The defenders who returned from injury (aside from Streit) are too slow/old to keep up in all three zones, and are not getting faster or younger, and that has thrown things out of balance entirely.
You can see what happens when the defense pinches or how other teams defenses outnumber the Islander forwards for pucks. This defense is not mobile or creative in the offensive zone with three veterans beyond Streit.
They are easier to defend, it forces individual efforts as we see with Tavares.
Hamonic and MacDonald do not have the same edge to their games yet, MacDonald had major surgery.
Eventually the three goalie system is going to produce a poor game, so far they have gotten efforts that should have produced points out of all seven contests.
DiPietro's puck moving ability seems best suited to the defense lack of speed, but his mistakes and inconsistency combined with the lack of five on five production leave the team zero margin of error.
Beyond what's been written about call-ups and getting younger/faster on defense, I see no solution here with the current group. Perhaps an opponent/goaltender is going to have a very bad game or the special teams can carry the club to a token win here and there. Maybe someone can do what Montoya did against Minnesota.
Most who do not follow the team (some who do) who only see record, will claim it's the Islanders struggling for the same reasons.
Even though this blog has written NOV 2010 Islanders are not going to win, it not November 2010, even if two returning defenders are from that badly struggling roster with Jurcina making it three.
This time if things fall apart, it will be far different than the last three of four years.