The quality of the New York Islanders play has been mostly solid/steady, outside of the game in Phoenix you could make the argument the club has not had a real clunker since the Bruins/Pens stretch in November.
Most games the Islanders skate well enough to take the play at the opposition, even in recent losses. The opposing goaltenders have had to play well from Rinne to Bobrovsky to Hiller's save on Parenteau that turned the Anaheim game.
Overall, some fantastic progression from Tavares to superstar status(not just all-star), Matt Moulson looks dominating, Okposo is playing like a top pick, and visible, scoring in games for the first time since before his injury.
Hamonic/MacDonald are progressing well, and mostly solid efforts from Nabokov.
Parenteau has thirty seven points in forty three games, that's more than anyone could have expected.
Grabner's speed has finally returned, perhaps he needed this long to get back the jump after his groin injury, still it's a one line Islander team on offense, that simply is getting almost no production from it's other lines at even strength.
Bailey, Niederreiter have been getting their chances, or making their chances, Martin's hitting.
The veterans on up front and on defense, have given them virtually nothing in terms of offensive support. Rolston began his twenty nine point second half with the Devils, January 9th a year ago. Reasoner will be out a lot longer, Pandolfo is not a scorer at his natural right wing spot, much less playing a spot he's never played in his career.
A few nice plays from Staios, Eaton, Mottau and Jurcina, a few big mistakes as well which will be the theme. Outside of rare Jurcina goal, expect no offense.
Streit's delay of game for falling into net losing his balance is the latest in a series of absurd calls which began with the ot delay of game against San Jose, he had a three point game.
Rick DiPietro is going to have his surgery, the Islanders including his knee swelling has been a theme every single year and is the story, not the sports hernia.
Bottom line, a team holding firm at five games under, winning a few, then losing a few is a club going nowhere near a playoff spot, that's not even a discussion any longer unless the group wants to go 10-0-0 to get near the eighth seed, which they have given no sign they are capable of doing.
Losing deHaan to another shoulder injury is terrible. This team could use him here along with Ullstrom, after getting a few goals over the weekend.
Poulin was sent down after the Nashville loss, impossible to criticize him or the Islanders for how he was handled. Nabokov was playing well enough to get on a run, it was time to see if he could hold up physically and he did.
He seems happy enough to be here by his comments, we'll see what that holds if he stays past the trade deadline and continues his solid play.
A few teams are spiraling downward toward the Isles spot in the standings as the disparity between pretenders and contenders widen.
Bridgeport's won seven games in a row, with a lot of players on PTO. They are still outside the playoffs and really need another seven in a row to discuss them having a playoff chance.
Impossible to see any veteran holding much value at the trade deadline if Garth Snow decides to sell. The big question on Nielsen is coming as he approaches the trade deadline/UFA as a good defensive player, but simply not a five on five scorer.
Parenteau also enters this discussion.
Of course Garth Snow should be willing to gamble on younger players who have played well in the recent past, but are struggling on their current teams.
No law he cannot get his veterans for next year at the deadline.
Having written this, every team is looking for players to improve, that's one of many reasons there is little/no major activity beyond Mike Cammalleri, likely saying the magic words to force Montreal to move him by going public with his complaints.