After what could generously be called an uneven run of 10 home games over the last 11 for the Islanders, it’s time to get out on the road.
And whether that’s really a good thing — the Isles are 0-3-0 away from Barclays Center this year — doesn’t really matter at this point. The Islanders have ground to make up just 13 games into the season, already trailing the top three teams in the Metro Division by at least five points, so it doesn’t matter where they play. They need wins.
“It’s always good to get out on the road,” coach Jack Capuano said. “It is good to be home, but the guys can get away, just be around each other when you’re on the road.”
The 4-2 win over the Canucks on Monday brought the Isles’ home record to 5-3-2, not terribly strong given how well the Islanders played in Brooklyn last season, when they were 25-11-5 in their new building with the not-so-great ice surface.
Monday’s game snapped a three-game losing streak for the Islanders, albeit with two points in consecutive shootout losses last week. But leaving out the 6-1 thrashing at the hands of the Lightning a week ago, the Islanders and Capuano felt they were doing enough to win games despite not doing so.
“The last few games we’ve played well, we haven’t gotten results,” Capuano said. “Good for the guys because they deserve it.”
The Islanders will travel Wednesday to Tampa to play that same Lightning team on Thursday, the Isles’ first visit to Amalie Arena since they were eliminated by the Lightning in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference semifinals on May 8. They visit the Panthers in Sunrise on Saturday, site of the Isles’ other playoff series last spring, before two games at home and then a three-game swing through California Thanksgiving week.
So there may be a chance for dinners and team building away from home, but the only thing that matters now are points for the Islanders.
Notes & quotes: Brock Nelson, who played only one shift in the final 11 minutes on Monday after getting cross-checked in the leg by Vancouver’s Brandon Sutter, is feeling well and could practice on Wednesday.