Most of us are familiar with the premise of the hit TV show "24." Kiefer Sutherland stars as Agent Jack Bauer. Each season was broken down into 24 episodes, each representing an hour of a day in Bauer's mission to stop an assassination attempt or foil a terrorist plot.
Bauer's modus operandi was to do whatever it took to get the job done. That's very much what Tavares and the Islanders will have to do to get those 24 wins.
The Isles cannot afford to have any flat periods, much less games. Every player will have to offer maximum effort for 60 minutes plus overtime as needed for every one of the remaining 34 games if the Islanders are to have any hope of making the dance.
This means no missed assignments and no undisciplined penalties. Michael Grabner is going to have to start converting his many scoring chances. Production will also have to come from previously quiet players like Josh Bailey, Brian Rolston, Nino Niederreiter and, apart from Mark Streit, the entire Islander blue line.
If the Islanders can put all this together and win 10-12 of the 14 games remaining to them before the 2/27/12 deadline, Garth Snow might decide to do some modest buying, picking up, say, Fydor Tyutin and Tuomo Ruutu.
If the Islanders do make the playoffs, they will have had to play so well down the stretch that they will be a truly dangerous team.
Should this season end on the 23rd epi ... win, it will still bode well for next season. Jack Bauer said he'd do whatever was needed to complete his mission. Denis Potvin said that a good leader is selfish about one thing: winning.
Playoffs or no, the Islanders need to develop a culture of winning that will bring the Cup back to the Island.