New York Islanders: Metro Division Tougher Playoff Task
Due to a strong division the New York Islanders will have a tough task in the playoffs if they make it and if they have to play the Metro teams.
The New York Islanders lucked out in 2015-2016 as they found themselves in a Wild Card slot. By finishing 4th in the division it made their road through the playoffs much more manageable.
The crosstown rival New York Rangers finished just one point ahead of the Islanders, which led them to a first round match up with the Pittsburgh Penguins. They were railroaded in 5 games and their season came to a close.
If the Islanders had just one more point they most likely would’ve had the same fate the Rangers had and we would still be talking about the Islanders inability to win a playoff series.
The Issue with the new playoff format is you are for the most part matched up with division opponents and when one division is stronger it effects the playoffs negatively.
For instance the two best teams in the league, the Penguins and the Capitals had to match up in the second round instead of the Eastern Conference finals.
A Flawed System
Unfortunately for the Islanders they project as the third best team in the Metro which means a first round match up with either the Penguins or the Capitals. Ouch.
If they somehow manage to make it out of that round then the other team will be waiting for them in round two. The format is flawed, as the better teams are matching up with each other earlier in the playoffs instead of the later stages.
If it was the old format the Islanders would’ve been the 5th seed going up against the 4th seeded Rangers, a team they dominated last year. This new format is going to grow old quick due to the fact that you’ll be playing the same teams over and over again.
If the Islanders do improve in the standings forget moving past the point they reached last year they may not get out of the first round.
Next: Islanders Top 10 Goals 2015-2016: Number 3
Hockey’s a crazy game, unexpected things happen in the playoffs. The Capitals and Penguins might not end up being the best teams in the division at the end of the season. Injuries and other factors can derail seasons, nothing is written in stone. It just looks much more difficult on paper.