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Tavares: Islanders ‘find ways to lose’ more than win

Feb 7, 2014, 11:33 AM EDT

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 04: John Tavares #91 of the New York Islanders skates down the ice against the Washington Capitals at the Verizon Center on February 4, 2014 in Washington, DC. Getty Images

If the New York Islanders want to make the playoffs, they need to be near perfect for the remainder of the season. They didn’t look anything close to that in their 4-2 loss to the lowly Calgary Flames last night.

“We basically find ways to lose games more than we find ways to win,” Islanders captain John Tavares remarked after the defeat, according to Newsday.

This has to have been a tough season to get through for Tavares. He’s one of the league’s best players, but a campaign that started out with a lot of promise has turned sour. Not only are the Islanders likely to miss the playoffs, but their efforts to re-sign forward Thomas Vanek and defenseman Andrew MacDonald have been unsuccessful.

At least Tavares will get a brief reprieve when the NHL breaks and he heads to Sochi to play for Team Canada in the 2014 Winter Olympics. It will be his first Olympics and a chance to win gold with his home country.

Of course, Canada is far from a lock to win the tournament, but at least they have hope and a legitimate shot. Those are things that the Islanders can’t offer him at this point.

  1. lowenni - Feb 7, 2014 at 11:46 AM

    Letang had a stroke!! Get an article on it

  2. bct11554 - Feb 7, 2014 at 11:47 AM

    If Snow does build around him soon. His people will try and get him out ASAP

  3. jpelle82 - Feb 7, 2014 at 11:48 AM

    i’ve been commenting on the islanders posts a lot lately it feels like. i was really hoping that after last year they were going to make things more interesting in the division and give me a reason to get excited for the games they play against the penguins. nothing beats getting off work and looking forward to a good competitive rivalry game in the middle of a long regular season. sadly i dont see anything lately that tells me it will be a common occurance any time soon. its a shame how this season has just “snow”balled into what it is now for them.

  4. stcrowe - Feb 7, 2014 at 11:55 AM

    It would appear that Vanek and McDonald agree. That is probably why they won’t sign extensions.

    • bcisleman - Feb 7, 2014 at 12:04 PM

      AMac wanted more money than the Isles were willing to offer and Vanek wants to see what he can get as a free agent. Nothing to do with the Islanders as a team.

      • atwatercrushesokoye - Feb 7, 2014 at 5:31 PM

        Deadline day isn’t a good time to get a franchise goalie, every team trying to make the playoffs and make a run (which I think we can agree is a long shot at best for the Islanders right now) will be trying to make that trade and it will lead to overpaying in a big way. The draft would probably be much better, maybe pry one of the goalies out of Anaheim?

        I agree with you about Vancouver, as a Flames fan I look at the Canucks now and see the Flames from 3-4 years ago, a team just good enough to get in the playoffs and then eliminated quickly. But also in denial about what they are and trying to patch things together around an aging core that isn’t good enough to get them there to begin with. Add to that they’re also short on cap space as well as prospects. Canucks fans don’t like it or agree with it when I say it but I watched it play out here in painful fashion.

      • atwatercrushesokoye - Feb 7, 2014 at 5:32 PM

        That reply should have been to your comment below this.

  5. bct11554 - Feb 7, 2014 at 12:08 PM

    Hate to say it but it is the Icelanders. Going all the way back to Ryan Symth

  6. bcisleman - Feb 7, 2014 at 12:24 PM

    Another hockey writer tells us JT has no shot with the Islanders. Know what, Ryan? He has a better shot than the Sedins do with Vancouver.

    Isles were poised to make some noise going into the Pittsburgh game. JT was even in position to make a run at the scoring title. Then somebody went on a 6 game scoreless run which MAYBE had something to do with the Isles only getting 3 points over that span and losing any real shot they had at the playoffs. Kyle Okposo now leads the Isles in goals and is only 7 behind in points.

    Isles have a wealth of defensive talent in the pipeline. They also have forwards Ryan Strome, Brock Nelson and Anders Lee as well as defensemen Griffin Reinhart, Calvin De Haan and Thomas Hickey already poised to make a difference at the NHL level. What they need is an NHL-ready franchise goalie. Hopefully Garth will land one with a deadline deal. This team’s future is bright. I’ll take their future over Vancouver’s ANY DAY and twice on Sundays!!!

    • jpelle82 - Feb 7, 2014 at 12:34 PM

      glass is half full, good way to be and i dont blame you. it still looks like 3-4 years out from now and just in time for tavares to come due for an extension again…

      • bcisleman - Feb 7, 2014 at 6:49 PM

        This year they had a bad run of injuries to key defensemen. They need more defensive depth and that is coming. They also need another potent 2nd line weapon apart from Frans. The big need is for a genuine franchise goalie and that is the one thing the organization does not yet obviously have (although who knows how their prospects will develop).

        The other issues are whether Cappy is the guy behind the bench and developing that old Fort Never Lose swagger. A persistent problem is falling into a deep hole early in the season. The right guy between the pipes, if Garth can obtain him at the deadline or in FA this summer, could get them over that hurdle and into contention as early as next year. We’ll see.

  7. carltonthurman - Feb 7, 2014 at 2:34 PM

    de haan has been the isles best d-man for more than a month – macd is good, but not $4m/yr good, not even close – and with a lot of young talent on its way, and this season over, the isles need to ship him.

    on the other hand, its a shame they cant keep vanek – he is a rare talent –

    • bcisleman - Feb 7, 2014 at 6:53 PM

      It would be nice to get Vanek signed if, for no other reason, to silence all those who say no one wants to play on the Island. But getting a franchise goalie, if Garth can get one from the trade, is more important.

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