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Looking ahead for the Islanders: Re-sign Tavares, find a new No. 1 goalie

The Islanders' ability (or inability) to bring back John Tavares will have a huge impact on the rest of their offseason. Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images

As each NHL team is eliminated from playoff contention -- either mathematically or by losing in the postseason -- we'll take a look at why its quest for the Stanley Cup fell short in 2017-18, along with three keys to its offseason and a way-too-early prediction of what 2018-19 will hold.


What went wrong

Defense.

Goaltending.

OK, there were a few more factors than that, but when analyzing the 2017-18 New York Islanders, it's hard not to boil it down to a simplistic formula. This was a team with dynamite offensive power -- the emergence of rookie Mathew Barzal, terrific seasons from Josh Bailey and Anders Lee, and of course, there's John Tavares -- but embarrassing deficiencies on its own end.