The New York Islanders’ path to the postseason has been complicated by the team’s recent losses.
Heading into the Islanders’ pivotal matchup with the Boston Bruins on Saturday night, the consensus was clear: the Isles controlled their own destiny.
Under the tutelage of interim head coach Doug Weight, the Isles had catapulted from last in the conference to the second wild card spot. Said Patrick Hickey of The Hockey Writers, “With plenty of offense, a healthy [Travis] Hamonic and [Thomas] Greiss ready to repeat his playoff successes, the Islanders are the team everyone else has to jump over to get into the postseason.”
Well, it hasn’t quite been that way. The Isles lost to Boston, 2-1, on Saturday night, and Nashville, 2-1, on Monday night. These losses, coupled with Tampa Bay’s come-from-behind win over Chicago, have New York on the outside looking in. As things currently stand, the Islanders are four points out with a game in hand.
Here’s what’s going for them: (a) the Isles’ favorable schedule should do them favors; and (b) Boston hasn’t been very good recently. Here are the current standings:
(8) Boston Bruins — 40-30-6, 86 points (6 games remaining)
(9) Tampa Bay Lightning — 37-29-9, 83 points (7 games remaining)
(10) New York Islanders — 35-28-12, 82 points (7 games remaining)
(11) Carolina Hurricanes — 34-27-14, 82 points (7 games remaining)
According to the website Playoff Status, which tracks teams’ chances of making the postseason, the Islanders need to go 6-1 in their last seven to have a positive chance of leapfrogging the Bruins and Lightning. Going 5-2 would give them 41% odds of securing the final spot.
Arthur Staple of Newsday reports that general manager Garth Snow has had his hands full negotiating professional contracts with lower-tier prospects. One such youngster — who inked a two-year pact on Tuesday — is Max Gaudreau, brother of that Gaudreau.
Though the NHL Draft is still months away, writers from around the globe have been busy preparing mock drafts because, well… can anyone get enough get enough of them (this guy can!)? Here’s Pat Iversen of SB Nation, who has the Isles snagging defenseman Callan Foote of Kelowna (WHL).
Joshua Ho-Sang spoke to the NY Post’s Brett Cyrgalis about his first professional season, which he called “crazy.” He joined the team in the midst of their playoff push, after spending the bulk of the season in Bridgeport.