Ryan Strome has been a healthy scratch before, but this latest benching — he missed his second straight game Monday night, a 2-1 overtime win over the Flames at Barclays Center — seems to be confounding to the 23-year-old forward, the fifth pick of the 2011 draft.
“It doesn’t really matter what I think . . . I’ve either got to play better or find a way to make them more happy, I guess,” Strome said after finishing his extra on-ice work yesterday morning at Northwell Health Ice Center. “You can talk all you want about what you do or don’t do; obviously we’re not winning, so something’s got to change.”
Strome has two goals and four assists in 19 games and had only one point, an assist, in his previous 12 games before sitting out Friday’s 3-2 loss to the Sharks in San Jose.
“He’s got to just continue to work hard,” coach Jack Capuano said. “He’s got a couple of goals, he’s an offensive guy for us that hasn’t produced offensively . . . He’s going to be back in there at some point, but we just came off a really good hockey game and we don’t want to change where we’re at with the amount of scoring chances that each line had in that particular game.”
Strome thought he was past his rocky 2015-16, which included a three-week stint in the AHL and three healthy scratches in the playoffs, including Games 5 and 6 against the Panthers.
“I thought I had a couple good games in a row there, but you’ve got to find consistency every game,” Strome said. “Right now I’m the odd man out. I don’t really have any answers. Hopefully we can win the game and get this ship going in the right direction and hopefully I can help out.”
Strome was equally unsure of his relationship with Capuano. “I think [it’s good], I don’t know,” he said. “Maybe ask him.”
Even with the two points Monday night, the Islanders (7-10-4) are tied with the Coyotes for last place in the NHL with 18 points.