The gloom and doom naturally projected onto the Islanders from outside was not matched within the team’s room. The players have remained upbeat through a COVID-19 outbreak, a spate of injuries and the resulting losing streak.
That, however, did not change the fact the Islanders need to turn their fortunes around.
They have lost seven straight entering Friday night’s game against the Penguins – the teams’ first since the Islanders’ six-game win in the first round of last season’s playoffs – to conclude their first homestand at UBS Arena.
That certainly has tempered the preseason Stanley Cup-or-bust projections after back-to-back berths in the NHL semifinals.