Graziano: Islanders Should Look To Trade As Inconsistency Creeps In

It's Time For Lou Lamoriello To Make A Move

Andy Graziano
January 15, 2020 - 12:14 pm

In continuing with recent trends, the New York Islanders have seen inconsistent results since we last met. Over their past 25 games they have certainly not looked like a team ready to challenge for the Stanley Cup or even, one could argue, a playoff spot. You might look at the overall record (28-13-4) and think I’m nuts, right? I bet you missed the part where I said “over the past 25 games.”

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The Islanders are just 12-10-3 in the chunk, scoring 65 goals (2.6 per game, including last night’s eight) and allowing 70. They have captured 54% of possible points, which would put them on a regular season pace of 89. When did the last Eastern conference, or Metropolitan division team, make the playoffs with 89 points? Exactly. It’s all in context.

Chances are very much on their side that the early season barrage of wins should allow them to get into the tournament. What they do when they get there is not going to make fans happy if the inconsistency they’ve shown and lack of roster upgrades by president and general manager Lou Lamoriello start to take effect, who might be mistaking his current team for one that wore red, green and black in the early 2000s. 

Madison Bowey of the Detroit Red Wings stops a shot by Mathew Barzal of the Islanders on the goal line during the second period at NYCB Live's Nassau Coliseum on January 14, 2020 in Uniondale, New York.
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

If you think I’m being hard on Lamoriello, why shouldn’t I? Why shouldn’t anyone? I mean, there is nothing wrong with respecting a man’s long, illustrious career in hockey, and acknowledging his tremendous accomplishments, while also calling out the job he’s doing in his current position. We always say it’s a results-based business, and the same goes up and down the organization. Since the end of last season, he and head coach Barry Trotz know what’s been needed. Everyone is still waiting.

Look at these two gems from Twitter, which help to illustrate my point. These tweets are both from prior to last night’s 8-2 rout over the AHL-level Detroit Red Wings.

Look, I’m not a panic guy. I never was, I never will be. I can only comment on the current situation we find ourselves in and try to be realistic and factual. That situation is very fluid. In next week’s column, we could be writing how the Islanders ripped off huge wins over the Rangers (twice), Capitals and Hurricanes. But for right now, we must address the mediocrity that seems to have crept in.

This team needs a jolt, but where does it come from? As much as the Islanders’ system was once praised, it now looks bland. Bridgeport is not a good hockey club and hasn’t been for quite a while. There aren't too many prospects around for a call up from that level.

Lamoriello has never panicked. He hasn’t before and he won’t now. He also keeps things very close to his vest when it comes to his dealings with others around the league. He has said he likes to use all the time he has available and not be hasty. I’m not sure what time he has on his clock, but it’s getting late on mine We know darn well a 40-goal scorer is likely unattainable at this point. Even a 30-goal scorer might not be possible. But there are plenty of good players rumored to be available that could be of great benefit to the Islanders. 

Trades aren’t easy. They also aren’t impossible. 

You can follow Andy on Twitter @AndyGraz_WFAN