Arthur Staple Arthur Staple

Staple, with Newsday since 1997, has covered high school sports, hockey and football.

Saturday’s 7-0 loss to the Blue Jackets aside, the Islanders’ hot streak under Doug Weight has given them a chance to reach the playoffs. That gets fans excited not just for a playoff trip that seemed like folly five weeks ago but also for the prospect of adding a big piece or two to put the Isles in even better position before Wednesday’s trade deadline.

Garth Snow and his staff certainly are covering their bases. Special adviser Claude Loiselle was in Florida this past week at a pair of Oilers games, presumably watching Jordan Eberle, a long-considered target to play on the right side with John Tavares, an old friend of Eberle’s.

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But scouting and trade chatter don’t always add up to much, especially at the deadline. Snow has moved a first-round pick and/or an elite prospect at the deadline exactly once in his 11-year tenure as general manager. That was the deal in 2007 that sent two prospects and the Isles’ first-round pick, 15th overall, for winger Ryan Smyth. Ryan O’Marra and Robert Nilsson were both Isles first-round picks, but not by Snow, and he was willing to ship them out.

Matt Duchene and Tyler Johnson would fill needs for the Isles, but both would come at a high cost. And the 12-4-2 streak the Islanders brought to Columbus on Saturday might have Snow and Weight unwilling to tinker with a group that finally is playing the way they thought it would when those two assembled it last summer.

Weight had a big hand in bringing Andrew Ladd and Jason Chimera aboard, having played with both. The way younger players have responded to Weight’s adjustments as coach perhaps has the Isles thinking that Ryan Strome, Anthony Beauvillier and even Scott Mayfield, who has been incredibly steady in supplanting Adam Pelech during the last two weeks, should not be moved around or included in any deals.

Is this Isles team good enough to make the playoffs and make a run? Hard to say yes to that right now. But if Snow took two or even three players off the current roster to make room for a Duchene or Eberle, would it be in a better position now and going forward?

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Hard to say yes to that, too.