After a brilliant month of November where the Islanders pulled to within two games of .500, the New York Islanders began to plummet down another steep drop in what has been a dramatic up and down roller-coaster ride of a season.
The New York Islanders were 8-6-1 in November, and though that may not look too impressive the Isles played very good all around hockey, backed by excellent goaltending by their backup, Joey MacDonald.
Scott Gordon's aggressive system seemed to be sinking into the youngsters and veterans alike of the New York squad, and they were slowly creeping out of the NHL East's basement and toward potential playoff contention.
Nineteen year old rookie was called up and provided a spark, as the team continued to succeed. Islanders' brass had the option of sending him back down to play in a big Junior Hockey Tournament, but they elected to keep the young center in the NHL where he could get even more valuable experience.
Everything seemed to be going so well, and I was finally having confidence in this team.
But then December hit, and with it came a blizzard that seems to have snowed in the entire Islanders franchise.
The Isles, who were close to leaping over the New Jersey devils in the standings, are now eight points behind, with a measly 22 points which is the third worst in the east ahead of Atlanta (whom they lost to last Saturday) and Tampa Bay.
December and the holiday season is supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year. Well, so far it's been a nightmare on Long Island, as they have dropped their first five games of the month to the Capitals, Thrashers, Maple Leafs, and Flyers, teams which I think that the Islanders should be competitive with.
Joey MacDonald has not been on top of his game lately, as he had been during the Isles winning streak, but the main culprit of this teams recent funk is their offense, which has not been able to score more then three goals on a team other then the Ottawa Senators in what seems to be ages!
As I mentioned earlier, this season has been a giant roller coaster and the Islanders need to find a way to play consistent hockey instead of being so streaky.
Rick DiPietro is not that far away from his return and I am hoping that he can provide this team with a much needed jolt.