New York Islanders' road to the postseason begins with executing gameplan
Dec 27, 2016; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders goalie Jaroslav Halak (41) looks for the puck during the third period against the Washington Capitals at Barclays Center. The Islanders won 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Islanders’ road to the postseason starts and ends with executing properly.

There’s a recipe for success, and it starts with proper execution.

Love him or hate him, Jack Capuano‘s teams have thrice made the postseason using his system. It’s far from perfect, and some — like myself — have objected to it. But at the end of the day, it’s worked before, and with proper execution, it can work again.

The Isles’ road to the postseason will be a daunting one. After failing to capitalize on home ice, the team will spend most of the rest of the season on the road, where they’ll need to go on a Flyers-esque run to compete for a spot in the playoffs.

That being said, we’ve seen crazier things happen before.

Garth Snow had some well-documented struggles this offseason. Frans Nielsen, Kyle Okposo and Matt Martin — three core players from last season’s run — left in free agency, despite the general manager commenting that “we need to devise a way to keep all three.”

Nonetheless, there’s still a lot of talent on this team.

The Isles have been extremely erratic this season, winning and losing games in bunches. But as Mary Clarke of SB Nation observed, this is a result of some underperforming players:

Oh, the Islanders. There’s such potential there. John Tavares is a star, but his talents only go so far on a team that’s been stuck in “ready to make that step” mode for the past few years. Andrew Ladd’s acquisition to bring veteran scoring to the table has turned into a bust, with just seven points in 32 games.

Not to mention the Islanders’ goaltending trio — the only one in the NHL — is underperforming, and the organization isn’t willing to let one ride some games into a hot streak. While the rest of the Metropolitan Division has risen, the Islanders have surprisingly fallen to third-worst in the NHL.

However, the Isles have recently received contributions from guys like Anders Lee, Josh Bailey and Ryan Strome, and have strung together three consecutive victories. If these guys — the guys that are expected to bring this team to the promised land — produce, the Isles will win.


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.