While the numbers suggest there’s been an element of bad luck to the Islanders’ four-game losing streak — just four goals on 140 total shots? — that didn’t stop captain John Tavares from offering a harsh assessment of his team’s 4-1 loss last night in Chicago.
“We just did not do anything well,” Tavares said, per Reuters. “We didn’t execute, looked slow, watching them play and make plays. Losing battles. It’s just not good enough.”
Coach Jack Capuano, meanwhile, was left to lament the Isles’ poor puck management and lack of “grit and desperation” against the ‘Hawks.
On the bright side, the penalty killing, a glaring weakness for much of the season, has been successful; the Isles haven’t surrendered a power-play goal in their last eight games.
But with the playoffs just around the corner, there’s clear concern within the ranks of a team that’s won just four of its last 13 games and hasn’t been controlling the puck to quite the same degree it did earlier in the season.
Starting Thursday in New Jersey, the Isles have 10 games left to rediscover their previous form. After that, a first-round matchup with the Pittsburgh Penguins is the most likely.
The Pens, of course, eliminated the Isles in the first round the last time New York made the playoffs, in 2013.
The Isles haven’t won a postseason series since 1993.