The New York Islanders missed a fantastic opportunity against the Boston Bruins last night. Although they aren’t dead just yet.
After a tough, and ugly, loss to the Boston Bruins there was a ton of negativity against the New York Islanders from their fans. After a tough loss that tends to happen. It might not be as tough as everyone’s thinking for this team to make the playoffs.
Let me prefix this by saying the Isles played poorly last night and pretty much no-showed the most important game of the year. I’m just playing devils advocate to show why and how they still have a chance.
The one thing everyone’s forgetting is strength of schedule.
Here’s a look at the Islanders remaining 8 games:
vs New Jersey
Of the final eight games for the Isles, five of them are on the road. Although the one advantage that they have is only two of the teams they play have more points than them, Nashville and Ottawa, the rest of the teams are lower in the standings.
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If you take the points of each of those teams and find the average the average is 78. To put that in perspective the Isles have 82 points so far on the season.
Now, let’s compare that to the Bruins remaining schedule:
vs Tampa Bay
Although six of the seven remaining games are at home, the teams they play are much tougher. They will play four teams that have more points than them. While the average amount of points for the Islanders remaining schedule is 78, the Bruins is 87.
The one thing to worry about is teams who have clinched already resting players. The one benefit on the Islanders side is that the playoff races should still be tight, so the teams will hopefully still be playing for seeding.
I did the math if the Islanders go 5-2-1 over their final eight games, which should be doable, they will end the season with 93 points. If the Bruins go 4-3 over their remaining seven they will end the season with 92 points.
That would leapfrog them over the Bruins and into the playoffs unless Tampa Bay gets hot. If only they could’ve won last night, the path to the playoff would’ve been much easier.