After a predictable 5-2 thrashing of the hapless Philadelphia Flyers, the party is over for the New York Islanders. Through 9 games, the Isles have lost only once in regulation and once in overtime. Sitting near the top of the league, GM Steve was realistic on Thursday night when he declared “Hoover’s team sucks raw donkey nuts but the next four games are, for all intents and purposes, almost guaranteed defeats. Skating against the Broad Street Bullies was more like an act of pity than a competitive sporting event. Broad Street Babies would be a more apt nickname.”
Slated to face the Hurricanes, the Penguins twice (back to back) and then the Devils, there just isn’t any way the Isles maintain the breakneck pace they’ve set to open the season. With Alex Galchenyuk suspended for the next five games, the Islanders front office was compelled to promote Remi Elie, a virtual rookie, and play him during this difficult stretch of games.
Facing a healthy Carolina team to start, the Islanders are going to have an uphill struggle for the next week or so. The Penguins are also completely healthy and the upstart Devils, even without Backes, Kane and Edler, remain formidable. Nonetheless, all three of the Devils’ potential all-star players are likely to be back by the time the Islanders meet the Devils team.
Although the Islanders have a steady, if not spectacular cadre of defensemen, Alex Pietrangelo, Brady Skjei, Ian Cole, Eric Gudbranson and Mike Matheson are all healthy and capable. GM Steve has also raised the possibility of double shifting Nicklas Backstrom as a fallback tactic..
Only the whim and fancy of the league simulator, coupled with possible shut-down performances by either Jacob Markstrom or Jake Allen stand in the way of four consecutive losses.
God save the Queen!