‘Fragile’ Islanders relieved to end ‘nightmare’ road trip

The New York Islanders’ season-opening 13-game road trip — the second-longest swing in NHL historical past — ended with as resounding a thud as ever.

After a promising 5-2-2 begin, they’ve misplaced 4 straight, which was punctuated by back-to-back losses down in Florida to the Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers.

The Islanders had been outscored 19-4 throughout that remaining stretch, together with one final embarrassment of a 6-1 loss on Tuesday evening to the Panthers.

An honest sufficient begin shortly evaporated as soon as the Islanders yielded the sport’s first objective seven minutes into the sport. Then the wheels fell off, opening the door for a four-goal interval that ended New York’s evening early.

“I thought we really sagged once they scored the first goal,” Trotz mentioned of his sudden defensively-challenged group. “That’s part of being a bit fragile, which I haven’t said too often in the last little while. But we were squeezing it and they jumped on us. Some of the mistakes we were making were on us — the decisions, the caught in between… We’re playing almost good hockey and then playing bad hockey. You can’t do that.”

It’s the primary time in Trotz’s tenure as Islanders head coach that the group has allowed 4 or extra objectives in 4 consecutive video games — suggesting that one thing has grown rotten inside its ranks slightly than merely pointing to a road trip that mainly lasted one month.

“I can’t get a handle on [it]. It’s everybody right now. It’s all of us,” Trotz admitted. “We can’t say it’s one or two guys that we can separate from the group… We have to reset a little bit and get home. We have two days to reset and get back at it again. It’s on us. We can’t fix it unless we’re all committed to it. That’s everybody.”

A return house brings the long-anticipated house opener on the brand-new UBS Enviornment on Saturday towards a high-powered Calgary Flames group the place Trotz hopes the pleasant confines of New York can present a lift to their play.

“Yeah, it’s turned into a little bit of a long nightmare. We’re looking forward to getting back,” Trotz mentioned. “We’re opening a new arena. Hopefully, there will be some new energy and new focus. To be honest, it hasn’t been easy. From our standpoint, we have to get better.”

And quick, too. 

The Islanders sit in dead-last within the Metropolitan Division at 5-6-2 (14 factors), although six of the seven different groups within the standings above them have performed extra video games than them.

“You look at almost .500 on this road trip, we feel like we should be a little better than that but you talk to other people and .500 is sort of a goal, I think,” Trotz mentioned. “You’re taking a look at that for lots of groups, not us.

“I don’t think you can go in our room and anyone feels great about anything other than we got this road trip done.”

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