Isles Head Out West

Today the Islanders leave to head out for their annual Western Coast road trip. This trip typically is an unfriendly one to the New York Islanders, although they have found ways to surprise others in the past when versing teams that are front loaded offensively such as the Ducks, Sharks and Kings, all of three whom the Isles will face.

If the Islanders want to come home on Wednesday Novemeber 17th and have momentum on their side, as they will be home for four of the next five games after this trip, they will have to take away at least three out of the possible six points that are available. Of course, more would be nice, but the teams the Isles are facing are either sitting at the top of their division, riding winning streaks or are just flat out better. A 1-1-1 record wouldn't be too shabby.

When the Isles return they will have the pleasure of enjoying some time at Nassau Coliseum, which will hopefully provide some wins. The Isles have typically been a team that has performed better at home and this season so far has been played mostly on the road. Nine games so far to be exact with three more on the horizon.

December will be a nicer month for the Islanders. Not only will the majority of the games be played at home (8 out of 14), but Kyle Okposo will likely be returning somewhere in that schedule. It's hard to say how much one player really makes a difference, but his absence has hurt this team just as much as many probably have expected. With his young career consistently improving each season, the Islanders coaching staff has to hope that this will not be a major set back. Personally, Okposo has always played with his heart on his sleeve and been persistent with improving his game. Knowing Kyle, this will only motivate him further.

But that's all in the future. Right now Scott Gordon's squad needs to remain focused on the goal that lies ahead: to come home from this road trip with their heads held up high instead of looking at how far they have come from their strong start back in October.

It can all start tomorrow night.

-Rob McGowan

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