5. Recent Success

Despite not playing even close to their best hockey, the New York Islanders are currently in second place in the division and possess the fifth most points in the league.

While Mikhail Grabovski, Anders Lee and Sparky the Dragon (see what was done there) have all been missing, Thomas Greiss and Jaroslav Halak have provided the Isles with a legitimate goaltending tandem, while the penalty kill is the league’s best (even if they allowed a goal Thursday).

Nick Leddy, Johnny Boychuk, Calvin de Haan (after a rough start) and Travis Hamonic have all played well in their own zone, while the MC2 line, Frans Nielsen and Kyle Okposo are all playing like All Stars.

Sometimes, it’s tough to think about the grand scheme of things when something is currently going wrong. But if a little time was taken to appreciate the team’s current success rather than bicker about Brian Strait, Jack Capuano and every other imaginable thing, people would be a lot more satisfied.

All of this, and more, transpired in 2015.

Here’s to 2016!

Justin Weiss is a staff editor at Elite Sports New York, where he covers the New York Islanders and Brooklyn Cyclones. In 2016, he received a Quill Award for Freelance Journalism. He has written for the Long Island Herald, FanSided and YardBarker.