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New York Islanders Christmas Wishlist, Top-3 Asks

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New York Islanders, Zach Parise
New York Islanders celebrating Zach Parise's overtime goal (Photo courtesy of New York Islanders Twitter)

Merry Christmas to all those who celebrate. And for the Jews like me, enjoy your Chinese food and movies. Despite finding themselves in the playoff race after not being close a season ago, the New York Islanders could use a few gifts from Santa Claus this holiday season.

Oh, and by the way, Die Hard is a Christmas movie. 

Getting Healthy

It’s been a tough month and a half for the New York Islanders, who are dropping like flies.

They have seven players out with injuries, four of which are on Injured Reserve.

Of the seven out, five are everyday players, two of which are the Islanders’ strongest players on each side of the puck in Brock Nelson and Adam Pelech. One is a goaltender having a solid bounce-back campaign in Semyon Varlamov, and the other is a call-up who was playing dynamic hockey in Simon Holmstrom

  • Kyle Palmieri (upper body) is on IR, retro Dec. 16
  • Cal Clutterbuck (upper body) is on IR, retro Dec. 16
  • Adam Pelech (upper body) is on IR, retro Dec. 6
  • Semyon Varlamov (lower body) is on IR, retro Dec. 17
  • Casey Cizikas (upper body) is day-to-day
  • Brock Nelson (upper body), no update
  • Simon Holmstrom (lower body), no update

The Islanders are running out of NHL-ready talent to recall, and if the Islanders are going to stay in the playoff race, they need to get healthy—and fast.

Acquiring a Scorer

The Islanders need an elite goal scorer, a game-changing forward, for Mathew Barzal if they are going to do any damage down the stretch. 

After standing pat this offseason, when a few options presented themselves, Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello has the opportunity before or on Mar. 3 (trade deadline) to bolster his forward group like he never has.

Choose your weapon, but be prepared to give up prospects and first-round picks because, at the minimum, that’s what those players will cost (minus Boeser).

The likes of Patrick Kane, Timo Meier, Bo Horvat, and Brock Boeser highlight the forwards that are likely to be on the move.

As we have said here, the Islanders can ill afford to wait until the deadline as their season, quite frankly, could be determined by February.

Winning Streak

The last handful of seasons, the Islanders have gone on robust winning streaks that have defined their seasons.

In 2020-21, the Islanders won 10 straight contests, an ultimate 17-game point streak. In 2021-22, the Islanders won nine games amid a 12-game point streak. 

But this season, the Islanders have just one win streak, a five-game stretch from Oct. 26 to Nov. 3. 

With the Islanders on the outside looking in by two points, they could certainly use one of those elongated win streaks to get them not just back in a wild-card spot but maybe vying for the third spot in the Metropolitan Division.

It will be difficult with so many players out of the lineup, but that is why this streak is at the bottom of the wish list. 

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