It is no secret to those who have watched the Isles play over the past month or so that they haven’t been playing at the same level that they had been playing at for a large majority of the season. It seems like the Isles have run out of gas and it couldn’t be coming at a worse possible time. When Lou Lamoriello let the trade deadline come and go on February 25th it was clear that he had confidence in the group that was already here to get it done. While this seems like it was a compliment to this Isles team, it may also have been a curse at the same time. Sometimes a team needs a new face to help them push to the finish, and it helps provide a new vibe around the locker room so things don’t get stale.
The Islanders did not make a move at the deadline, but there is still an opportunity to provide a spark for this team. If I was Barry Trotz, I would take a big name forward out of the lineup for a game. Let’s say, Josh Bailey. Why not sit Bailey for a game in place of a Michael Dal Colle or a Josh Ho-Sang? I’m not arguing for the Isles to sit Bailey the rest of the year, I just think that if you sit him for one game, it sends a strong message to the group. The message being that nobody is safe and everybody will be held accountable.
The Islanders forward group has been extremely flat of late and must start to figure things out as they enter this crucial final push to the playoffs.