So it’s that time of year again when Islanders’ games don’t mean anything and so, in turn, they start playing well.

Though ‘well’ was a relative term Tuesday night at the Coliseum, when they thumped the absolutely atrocious Panthers, 4-2, making the Isles 5-1-1 in their past seven — and still hopelessly out of the playoff conversation, 30-35-10 with just seven games remaining.

“I don’t believe in any of that stuff — I don’t believe teams play loose when they have nothing to play for,” said coach Jack Capuano, who again dressed nine rookie skaters. “To me, you coach and try to prepare you team to win a game and players prepare to win.”

When that same question about the change in their game once out of the playoff picture was posed throughout the locker room, a common refrain came back.

“I have no idea,” said forward Colin McDonald, who played arguably his best game all season in collecting two assists, his first game since being announced as the team’s nominee for the Masterton Trophy for perseverance and dedication to hockey.