With their playoff hopes in tatters and with no certainty in the Islanders’ direction, coach John Tavares has called for his players to work together and focus on their collective health and well-being.
“We have to get better,” Tavares said Friday.
“We have a lot of things to figure out.
We can’t just blame our teammates.
We have to go out there and focus, and make it our own team.”
It has been a tumultuous start to this season for the Islanders, who had the worst record in the NHL last season.
Their 5-1-0 start has been plagued by injuries, including center John Tavardos, who suffered a season-ending knee injury in October and is expected to miss the entire season.
Tavares, who was named captain of the team in November, said he’s not sure how long he’ll play.
“I can’t answer that yet,” Tavare said.
“I think it’s about how we’re playing right now.
We need to get to the next level.”
But Tavares’ comments come as the Islanders have not been able to score a goal since April.
They’re 4-5-0 in their last nine games.
They’ve been shut out in each of their past four games, and are 0-5 on the season.
“You have to be disciplined, and I think that’s what we have to do,” Tavared said.
“It’s not just in my head, it’s what the guys are telling me.
We’re not playing like the team we want to play.”
Tavares said he has “a lot of confidence” in his team.
“If we have some momentum going into the playoffs, we’re going to get it,” Tavaras said.
But his comments come after he said that a return to the Stanley Cup Playoffs is “definitely not out of the question.”
“I think we’re in a good place,” Tavaris said.
The Islanders have been a disappointment in the playoffs this season, going 2-6-0.
They’ve lost three straight games in the postseason, including to the Florida Panthers in the Eastern Conference finals.
“No, we don’t feel bad,” Tavari said.
“(We know) we’re not a team that’s going to be a playoff team.
I’m not saying that, but I think we are going to go in there and compete.”
The Islanders play host to the Buffalo Sabres at the Barclays Center on Sunday.