The Islanders enter 2017 with some momentum from a 6-2 victory over the Winnipeg Jets. The Islanders finished the year winning four of their last five after a brief streak that saw them gain only one point in five games.
Is it impossible? Not at all, but it will be difficult, and the New York Islanders need to get started immediately.
Looking at the numbers
Islanders statistician Eric Hornick took to twitter to make a valid point for Islanders fans proclaiming the season is over.
Those who think #isles ssn is over shud check out standings Feb 9 2015 –Ottawa was 14 pts out of playoff spot
(Isles are 8 out w 2 in hand)
— Eric Hornick (@ehornick) January 1, 2017
While fans are definitely within reason to be burying their team, all is not lost yet.
There are some very good teams in the Metropolitan division. It has hands down become the most competitive division in the NHL with so many teams on the rise and only so many playoff spots available.
During this season the Blue Jackets and Flyers have both achieved at least a 10 game winning streak, while the Penguins and Rangers reached seven at one point and the Capitals managed to achieve a six game winning streak.
When the Islanders were stuck playing “ok” hockey, the rest of their division was soaring through the NHL standings and cementing their chance at a playoff berth.
The metropolitan didn’t stop soaring when the Islanders went on a 5-0-1 tear either, and they certainly weren’t slumping after the Islanders went 0-4-1.
Are the Islanders a “bad” team?
Consistency is the key word for the Islanders.
For much of bench boss Jack Capuano’s career with the Islanders, they were often criticized for not playing a full 60 minutes of hockey (a fault that lives on to this very day).
Much of the Islanders woes lies within inconsistency and this fault becoming an ever increasing thorn in the Islanders game.
Their lack of finish has cost them more than 15 points this season in games where they surrendered the game-winning goal with just under five minutes left to play.
The Islanders are a team with potential who are afraid to live up to their expectations. Statistically, yes, their numbers may not match up to what they were last season, but I still stand by that the Islanders are a better team than this.
One large inconsistency for the Isles was between the pipes, and after the waiving of starter Jaroslav Halak, that issue will begin to resolve itself.
However, during the Islanders last few games, Chimera and Ladd have been getting warmer, and it seems to be reverberating with the other Islanders forwards.
With the goaltending situation seemingly figured out, for the time being, the Islanders are poised to be resurgent in the new year,
The best part is, it’s not a moment too soon.