This probably isn’t the most popular take among Isles fans, but it’s the truth. As much fun as it was to boo a certain former captain, and come out fired up and beat him, the Isles then turned around and lost to the Capitals, pulling them back into a first-place tie in the Metro Division, with one game in hand.
Mid week, the Isles were tied with the Caps, with two games in hand. One of those games was the Thursday night game against Toronto, which they won, but then proceeded to give Washington back the advantage by losing the head to head battle.
It would have been best to win them both.
It still would have been better to drop the Toronto game and get that level of play for the Caps. Reversing the outcomes would have the Isles two points ahead with a game in hand.
Alas, here we are. As we sit on Saturday night, the Isles are tied for first, yet only 6 points from 5th, and out of the playoffs. No one is running away with the Metro, and a whole lot of teams are still in play for those top 4 spots. (Possibly 5, but right now Montreal is ahead on both Pittsburgh and Columbus.)
Simply put, there’s no time to rest on the laurels of beating Toronto. It’s point-getting time. That is the only thing that matters down the stretch. As good as this season has been, not making the playoffs would be a disaster, and the truth is that outside of that Toronto game, the Isles have been struggling.
This isn’t the time. Not if you want to do something in the playoffs.