Frustration is no longer lying under the surface for the Islanders… it has reared its ugly head.
Jaroslav Halak‘s reaction at the end of the shootout against Edmonton said it all. He slammed his sticks and the fans let out a collective, “ughhhhhhhhhhh!” It was the first time ever the Isles had lost back-to-back games in a shootout.
They are now 0-6 this season in shootout attempts.
I was standing by the ice where the players skate off after the game. I’ve never seen Jaro so upset. The rest of the team followed him into the dressing room with eyes burning. But that can’t be the end of the story, right?
We are only 12 games into the season and while this is definitely not the start we all had hoped for, it is where the team is at right now (4-6-2).
Part of being a sports fan is riding the ups-and-downs with your team. As a reporter, losing a string of tough games is hard too. It’s always easier to talk to players when they are winning and happy. Flip to the other side, and everyone is a little more on edge.
John Tavares is one of the most gracious guys in the league to interview. He sits at his locker after every skate and every game, and answers countless questions. He has never said no to an intermission interview. But I can tell the captain is frustrated, and his words and demeanor during this interview says it all.
But Tavares isn’t giving up on this team. He’s going to work to score goals and win games. He will try to make it work. Tavares is not a quitter.
The news that Travis Hamonic will miss 4-to-6 weeks with an upper body injury is not helping this whole situation. It will also be tough to replace him, but the Isles offense is what really needs to get to work. It’s great that the D-men have set a franchise-record by scoring in 8 straight games, but hopefully Andrew Ladd and Jason Chimera can start scoring like they’ve done in the past.