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New York Islanders

Islanders Hit The Road For Critical Stretch



AP Photo/Steven Senne

The New York Islanders haven’t been very welcomed at home lately.

They’ve lost their last four games and five of their last six, including one to the Washington Capitals on Saturday at UBS Arena, where fans made it clear what they currently think of head coach Lane Lambert.

The noise surrounding the Islanders is getting too loud to ignore here at home. This week, the Islanders’ first extended road trip of the season provides them a much-needed chance to get some peace and quiet and get back on track.

“I’ve heard people say over and over again, in any sport, it’s not a bad thing sometimes to get on the road,” Lambert said. “But that certainly isn’t an excuse for some of the situations that have happened and some of the leads that we’ve given up.”

To this point, every time the Islanders have played away from home, their journey only featured a single stop without much travel time required. Now, they’re about as far away as they can possibly get, swinging through Edmonton, Vancouver, Seattle and Calgary.

“It’s our first actual road trip,” Brock Nelson said. “You hear teams out west having three, four or five games trips out east. That’s a little bit of a grind.”

Luckily for the Islanders, this trip includes just one game against a team currently with a winning record.

A stop in Vancouver, which was already going to carry heavy significance, with it being Bo Horvat‘s first trip back there since being traded and another meeting with old friend Anthony Beauvillier, is looking much more challenging than originally anticipated.

After making a permanent indentation in the couch of the league’s basement for the last eight years, the Canucks are a surprising 11-3-1 thus far in their first full season under head coach Rick Tocchet.

That should be the one game the Islanders have trouble with on this trip. Otherwise, they have a better record than the other three teams they face.

First, there’s a matchup with the tail-spinning Edmonton Oilers, who just overhauled their coaching staff on Sunday. Later on, the Islanders visit the Calgary Flames and Seattle Kraken.

Calgary has essentially already waived the white flag and has players requesting to be traded, while Seattle has regressed after making it to the second round of the playoffs last year.

There is little reason for the Islanders to finish this trip with anything less than two wins.

If they do, there will have to be a real discussion of the Islanders waiving the white flag themselves.

“It’s on us when we lose these games and aren’t scoring goals and not doing the right thing,” Horvat said. “We got to take ownership of that. It all starts this road trip here. It’s a big one coming up.”