Despite the Islanders recent slump, the team’s current seven-game skid poses no immediate threat to coach Scott Gordon’s job security, according to one person with knowledge of the situation.
Although speculation has arisen during the team’s recent downward slide, there has been no internal discussions about Gordon’s future with the team, said the source.
Gordon, who took over the team in 2008, is in the last year of a three-year deal.
The Islanders have consistently refrained from speaking about Gordon’s status since his hiring; the organization never officially divulged the length and term of his contract, although team owner Charles Wang inadvertently revealed the former in a July 2009 radio interview.
Islanders general manager Garth Snow remained similarly tight-lipped about the situation when reached by telephone Sunday afternoon.
“Scott is an excellent coach and we have a great relationship, but my policy has always been that any conversations between him and I stay that way,” Snow said.
The team’s last win came against Tampa Bay on October 21. Since that 3-2 overtime victory, the Islanders have dropped seven straight, including nightmarish routs to Philadelphia and Carolina last week.
However, the team has made significant strides in the past two games—a 4-1 loss to Ottawa Thursday and a 2—1 loss to Philadelphia Saturday—albeit neither resulted in a point.
Both Snow and Gordon said they were pleased by the improvement shown as of late.
“A lot of the things we had at the beginning of the year going for us, we’ve got more of that back in our game, which I’m encouraged about,” Gordon said after the game Saturday.
“It seems like the last few games, we probably should have won,” defenseman James Wisniewski said after the game. “I guess if you can take a positive out of a loss, it’s that.”
Although the Islanders initially weathered the storm well, the team has suffered significant injuries this season to Mark Streit, Kyle Okposo, and Andrew MacDonald.
The Islanders are also in the midst of a brutal streak during which they play 12 of 15 games on the road. The last three road games of said trip begins Wednesday with the team’s West coast jaunt to Anaheim, San Jose and Los Angeles.
“I’m confident in the group we have if we perform to level that every individual can,” Snow said. “We will get out of it, but there can’t be any shortcuts. There can’t be players not on the same page; we have to play as a collective group.”
“We’re in a situation where we have to build one shift at a time, one period at a time and turn that into a game. We’ve lost our mojo as a group and we need to find a way to get it back,” Snow said. “But if anything, I thought the past two games have shown our resilience.”
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