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‘Words Don’t Mean Anything. It’s Actions’, Islanders Giving Up on Season?

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New York Islanders

To be a fly on the New York Islanders locker room wall following their 3-0 loss to the Seattle Kraken on Wednesday evening. Listening to the press conference, you could hear the pain in the voice of New York Islanders captain Anders Lee as he discussed the effort and what went wrong. The rest of the crew seemed as if they had just received the worst news.

But nothing compared to the mood that New York Islanders head coach Barry Trotz was in.

After a few Islanders reiterated the statement “go out there and win the period,” Trotz was asked by Kevin Kurz of The Athletic as to why that did not happen against a weak Seattle Kraken team.

“Just from my perspective, too many turnovers, got out-competed, their will was a lot stronger than our will. And that’s where it ended up. They wanted it more.” Trotz said.

And before Kurz could get a follow-up question in, Trotz interrupted him with a powerful statement.

“Words don’t mean anything. It’s actions.”

The Islanders inability to focus on the task at hand made it seem like they were already in vacation mode.

For an Islanders team who has struggled to beat good teams, there is no margin for error against the bad ones this late into a season with the hole in the standings as big as it is.

“It’s one of the more disappointing games that I’ve coached as an Islanders coach…we didn’t deserve any points, and if we would’ve (picked up points), we would have stolen (them),” Trotz said to end the post-game press conference.

How could the Islanders come out as flat as they did in a must-win game against the 30th, now 29th ranked team in the NHL?

The glimpse of hope that was still shinning on a potential wild-card spot is as dim as it has been the entire season. The flame is not yet out, but it’s rather close, especially after the effort that was on display Wednesday.

“I just didn’t think that our level of desire today was very good,” Trotz said. “I didn’t think we had a really strong focus.”

The Islanders were outplayed by a team that had nothing to play for.

Against a goaltender that came into the game with a GSAA of -21.20, the worst in the NHL, the Islanders threw 19 shots on goal throughout the entire contest. Philipp Grubauer more than likely woke up this morning thinking last night was just a dream.

The Islanders top line combined for five of the 12 giveaways. Mathew Barzal had four and struggled all night long, as he only recorded one shot on goal. Anders Lee only had one shot on goal and Josh Bailey failed to record a shot.

Brock Nelson led the Islanders with three shots on goal, with one in each period.

13 of the 18 Islander skaters recorded shots, with eight of the 13 only registering one and four registering two.

Noah Dobson, who entered the contest with 19 shots on goal in his last five games, had zero.

At even-strength, the Islanders only created two rush attempts. That shows all you need to know about how inept the offense was on Tuesday.

The Islanders often put their faith in Semyon Varlamov. Despite the questionable goals that beat him, he was still the Islanders best player and gave them a chance through two periods to take the lead and potentially pull away.

“I mean, there’s a lot of hockey left. So clear our heads here and come back ready to work. And there’s still a lot of belief in the room,” an emotional Anders Lee said following the loss. “Obviously, this one stinks tonight. But, you know, you got to move forward with a positive mindset, and there’s certainly still that belief in the room.”

But like head coach Barry Trotz said, “Words don’t mean anything. It’s actions.”

If the New York Islanders truly believe that they can go on a run and defy odds in the second half, then efforts, like we saw on Wednesday, can never happen again over the final 43 games.

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