COSTA MESA, Calif. - Travis Hamonic and the rest of the Islanders sat in a quiet locker room at the SAP Center on Saturday night. The frustration was evident on many faces after a 3-1 loss to the Sharks.
But this Islanders team is in a different position from recent years. Last season, the palpable frustration came from being overmatched too many nights. Now it comes from not being able to finish off winnable games like Saturday's, when the Islanders played well enough to win but didn't.
"It's not like we didn't have chances,'' Hamonic said. "I had a great chance. I've got to find a way to put that in.''
Hamonic rang a wrist shot off the post on a four-on-two rush in the first period with the score tied at 1-1. In his first game back after missing four with an upper-body injury, Hamonic was active and aggressive, throwing 10 shot attempts toward Sharks goaltender Antti Niemi.
Only one shot got through Niemi in the game, though, emblematic of the Islanders' control of play for long stretches without much to show for it. They were out-attempted by the Sharks 31-15 in the first period but held a 48-31 edge in the final two periods.
The Islanders also had a huge advantage in shot attempts in Denver on Thursday night, but breakdowns in the second period put that game out of reach. And despite all those attempts, the Islanders have one goal in their last seven periods.
"A couple breakdowns at the end, that was it,'' Hamonic said of the plays that led to the Sharks' two goals in the final 8:10. "That's what happens when you don't score.''
The Islanders flew down the California coast Sunday, a day off in the midst of this grueling road trip before two practice days and then back-to-back games against the Ducks and Kings.
But even with the daunting games coming up and three straight losses, this season's Islanders aren't feeling overwhelmed right now.
"We're facing some adversity, and you know it's coming every year,'' Hamonic said. "We're going to get out of this. We're confident.''