What We Learned: Are New York Islanders really D.O.A.?
Say what you want about the New York Islanders' summer, but it's fair to say that deserved a bit of a mulligan for last season.
They were, in fact, set up to fail. Even leaving aside the COVID issues they suffered — which, welcome to the club, I don't want to hear about how hard that was on any individual team when the league had to shut down for two weeks because like 60 percent of players had it — and various injuries, which everyone deals with.
They opened their new arena five weeks after the season started, which was well after the original opening date because of COVID-related construction delays. This necessitated a 13-game season-opening road trip (in which they went just 5-6-2) and never really got out of the blocks.
But if you want to say a whole lot of external factors came together to hamper a team that already had to scratch and scrape to get into the postseason in the previous two (fake) seasons, well, it's tough to argue that.
But then again, general manager Lou Lamoriello did little to help those chances either, following a summer in which everyone said, "Oh well they have secretly signed a number of players who will help them," but then it was revealed that, apart from some necessary extensions (Kyle Palmieri's, Ilya Sorokin's, and Adam Pelech's being the most important), the players in question where two totally washed veterans on the wrong side of 35.
Not exactly the kind of middle-six/top-four help everyone agreed they needed.
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