The New York Islanders played their 41st and final road game of the season on Tuesday night when they defeated the Washington Capitals by a score of 4-1. It was probably one of the Islanders’ best games in quite some time and a solid way to end what has been a disastrous season on the road.
The Islanders went 17-19-5 on the road in 2021-22.
On Oct. 14, the Islanders embarked on a 13-game road trip, the longest road trip in NHL history to kick off a season, which started with a 6-3 loss against the Carolina Hurricanes.
Through the first nine games of the road trip, the Islanders had done well for themselves with a 5-2-2 record. But the Islanders dropped their final four games in regulation, ending the road trip with a 5-6-2 record.
The Islanders went win-less over their next eight games for a total losing streak of 11 (0-8-3).
By that point the Islanders were 5-10-5 and had already lost defenseman Ryan Pulock for 4 to 6 weeks, which ended up being a 10-week absence. They had also dealt with their first COVID-19 outbreak, which resulted in lackluster performances given the abundance of players missing from their lineup.
The losing streak was finally snapped on Dec. 7, when the Islanders won on the road in Ottawa by a score of 5-3, their first road win in over a month, since a 2-0 win over the Winnipeg Jets on Nov. 6.
NHL teams play 41 games on the road each season, which is not divisible by two. Through their first 21 road games, which given the stops and starts, did not come until Feb 15 (a 6-3 loss to Buffalo), the Islanders went 8-10-3, 19 points out of a possible 42 (.452).
The Islanders averaged 2.52 goals for per game, 53 goals, and 3.19 goals against per game, 67 goals over those 21 games. New York was outshot 711-621.
Over their remaining 20 road games, which kicked off with a 5-2 win in Seattle, the Islanders went 9-9-2, 20 points out of a possible 40 (.500). New York scored 57 goals, 2.85 goals per game, while allowing 59 goals, for 2.95 goals against per game. The Islanders were outshot 680 to 563.
The Islanders played their final 20 road games (35 games in total) over a span of 64 days.
It has been an absolute grind for the New York Islanders on the road this season. Their tough road trip to start the season was not the issue that led to their demise this season but their inability to finish the trip strong paved the way for the hole that the Islanders would be unable to dig themselves out of.
For 2022-23, the hope is that the schedule provides a sense of normalcy for the New York Islanders, who could certainly use it after the season that comes to an end on Friday, Apr. 29, when the Islanders host the Tampa Bay Lightning.
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