New York Islanders Horror Story: Missing the Playoffs

As those of you who have a calendar are aware, today is Friday the 13th. In honor of that I have decided to tell you all a horror story that could possibly be based on a future true story (but is most likely not)! I have named it “The 2014-15 New York Islanders miss the post season” *cue the loud screams and eerie music*. Truly terrifying stuff for the Orange and Blue faithful.

Fade In:

We look upon the NHL standings on February 13 and see the Isles nestled comfortably atop the Metropolitan division. The team has a 14 point cushion on the ninth place Florida Panthers. Long Island is a serene scene; snow covered ground glistens majestically in the sun.

But things take a dark turn, and fast. The Isles’ entire roster goes into a Brock Nelson-like goal scoring tailspin, unable to find the back of the net! Jack Capuano decides that Chad Johnson is now his number one goaltender, sitting Jaroslav Halak for the remainder of the season! Garth Snow trades Johnny Boychuk to the Rangers for Tanner Glass and a conditional 5th round pick! The team reads the words “February” and “March” as “Late October and November 2012” and loses 14 of 16 games! Florida reels off 29 consecutive wins and the Isles fail to qualify for the playoffs!

Nassau Coliseum is demolished on April 12 and every the Isles promptly change their name to the Brooklyn Subway Commuters.

Cut to a scene of Long Island as a post-apocalyptic wasteland. Dense smog floats in the air, children can be heard crying in the background.

Roll Credits.

More from Eyes On Isles

Obviously these things aren’t happening, but what is the most realistic scenario for the Isles to miss out on playoff hockey?

The Isles have 27 games left and Florida has 29. a large enough sample size to use point rates from the current NHL season as parameters for what we will deem realistic from here on out.

The Buffalo Sabres are the NHL’s worst team right now, earning themselves only 35 points in 55 games. That is a rate of .64 points per game played. If the Isles were to play at that putrid pace for the remainder of the season, they would finish with 90 points.

The NHL’s best team currently, the Nashville Predators, have earned 80 points in 55 games, a rate of 1.45 points per game. If the Panthers were to play that well for their remaining 29 games, they would finish with a total of 103.

It is not realistic to think that the Isles will play as poorly as the Sabres for the rest of the year, nor is it realistic to think the Panthers will play like the best team in the NHL for the next two months. So we must meet somewhere in the middle, with a 12 point wiggle room (one less point than the gap demonstrated by these best and worst case scenarios).

We must also factor in that the Isles would have to drop further than three teams in their own division and at least one additional team from the Atlantic division. For this scenario I will anticipate every team in the playoff picture continuing at their current rate of point production. The current eighth place team, the Boston Bruins, are on pace for 96 points this season. We will use that as the benchmark.

So the most realistic sequence of events that my small mind can concoct is this: the Panthers get red hot. Roberto Luongo stands on his head, Jonathan Huberdeau turns into the player we all thought he would become after his rookie year and they play out the remainder of the season at 16-8-5, earning themselves 37 more points, to end with a total of 96 points (same as Boston’s projected finish).

A horrific rash of injuries hits Long Island (the details of which I dare not outline for fear of jinxing the team, superstition runs deep on Friday the 13th), the Isles play their final 27 games with a record of 10-15-2, earning an additional 22 points and finishing the year with 95 points, one behind the Panthers and Bruins.

The ninth place Isles are made to walk to the Barclays Center, carrying their shame on their backs.

Cut to a scene of Long Island as a post-apocalyptic wasteland. Dense smog floats in the air, children can be heard crying in the background.