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Fish Sticks: The Isles have no one to blame but themselves

Forget about puck luck for a second;  The New York Islanders are down 3-0 in their second round series with the Carolina Hurricanes because they just haven’t done enough.  They haven’t capitalized on 95% of their opportunities and when they go down this series, they can’t recover.  They have no one to blame but themselves and the narrative that they’re only losing because of puck luck is ridiculous.

Obviously it’s a real thing but to say that Carolina has gotten all the bounces is to mitigate the real issues surrounding this team.  Sure in Games 1 and 2 they hit a couple of crossbars and posts and had a few goals called off for questionable reasons.  However, they also had at least 10-15 chances over the past three games to stuff the puck in the net and they didn’t do so.

Whether it be overskating the puck, trying to make the perfect pass, or just not shooting the damn thing, the Islanders find themselves down 3-0 because they just haven’t executed well enough.  They haven’t done the things that got them to the dance and they continue to wallow over their bad puck luck instead of creating their own.  When Robin Lehner “misplayed” (it was an incredible deflection) the puck around the half-wall and Justin Williams wound up scoring, the Islanders fell apart.

They stopped skating, were hemmed in their zone for what felt like the entire rest of the period, and never recovered in a Game 3 5-2 loss.  They’re being out-Islandered by a team that feels like it has all the momentum in the world.  The difference between the Carolina Hurricanes and the New York Islanders in this series is that the Hurricanes have pounced on everything they’ve been given and the Islanders have not.

Call it whatever you want but pun intended the Islanders have passed on so many opportunities they could have scored on.  You can’t blame the ice when Josh Bailey refuses to shoot on a wide open PP look.  You can’t blame the crossbar when Scott Mayfield completely whiffed on a wraparound just minutes before.  You can’t blame the refs or whoever else when your entire team can’t skate it out of their own zone for eight straight minutes.

The Islanders are all but dead and even though it’s been a great season they have no one to blame but themselves for their failures.  The 3-0 series looks ugly but the games haven’t been all that far apart.  Most people will say Carolina has just gotten a few more bounces, but it’s more a product of them creating their own bounces than just being fortuitous. The Islanders have had just as many “bounces” but haven’t done anything with them.  When this Islanders ship go down, it will be because they didn’t do enough.  They didn’t play hard enough when they needed to and Carolina beat them at their own game.  Once again, they have no one to blame but themselves.

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