Seven Teams/Seven Points One Playoff Spot For New York

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/23/2012 12:43:00 PM |

Tim Wallace was claimed off waivers by Tampa Bay, Aaron Ness was returned to Bridgeport. 

Casey Cizikas was recalled, Travis Hamonic has been removed from IR.

Seven teams/seven points (eight with Carolina), that's playoff reality for the the 2011-12 New York Islanders if you consider this realistic.

Ironically the club seemed to lose more ground winning a while back, than losing, however that's misleading.

It's highly unlikely Ottawa or another team will fall back as far as the 8th seed.

As for the New York Islanders, as written many times here, when they win ten games in a row, we can start having a realistic discussion about a playoff spot, not before.

We're not even close to starting such a discussion.

What is realistic will be a team in that mix of seven-eight clubs is going get on a winning streak, even if the Isles go on a run to match, it may only be enough to keep them on the outside or where they are now.

John Tavares went from NHL player of the month, to scoring in one game over three weeks.

Doug Weight moving Matt Martin to right wing to open the game in Buffalo cost them the opening goal after a defensive turnover by MacDonald/Streit. Martin as a RW did not react to Myers coming down the slot with LW Grabner playing his usual spot. 

A bad change cost the Isles the 2-0 goal with Rolston involved.

The scoring problems also make any kind of winning streak not realistic.

Watching Rolston shoot from everywhere (he also had a shot or two from quality areas) is a lot like watching Eaton, Staios, Jurcina throw pucks at the net from bad angles. Low percentage.

Of course Nielsen's goal was a low percentage shot.

Injuries/Illness/Instant Chemistry/What's Ahead?
The New York Islanders have no time for anything but winning hockey games whether it be Rangers, Senators, Flyers, Bruins, or three games with Devils. 

What's realistic is when players are injured/out for a while with illness, they likely come back and struggle.

Hamonic has to use a cage, his view is different. Nabokov has not played since Winnipeg, who knows what the flu and lack of work mean in games?

Al Montoya looks completely unplayable, ironically he came here looking like this a year ago.

Mike Mottau is also skating, but he could have been skating for a while.  

Trade Deadline:
As written in our last entry the depth is not there to make trades unless players come in return for them.

Only thing that changes this is if deHaan, Katic can play hockey games in Bridgeport which could happen perhaps as soon as Friday.

The Isles need to be extra careful with Katic and deHaan and their history with shoulder injuries. 

Tim Wallace was claimed on waivers by Tampa Bay.

Jay Pandolfo continues to play his off wing on the left with Reasoner and Niederreiter.

Eventually we'll see about Bailey, Cizikas recall indicates Bailey could be out.

Our guess is Garth Snow is going to make sure he has depth in the NHL/AHL to finish out the season.

Bridgeport at 16-1-1 gained enough ground to put them in the playoffs but that spot is tenuous.