The New York Islanders wrapped up the 2016-2017 season after Sunday’s win against the Senators. Unfortunately finishing with a 41-29-12 record, and 94 points would find them just short of a playoff spot.
The 2016-2017 season was a bit of a rollercoaster ride for the New York Islanders. It began with the losses of Kyle Okposo, Frans Nielsen, and Matt Martin, and the additions of Jason Chimera and Andrew Ladd.
They began the season with Jack Capuano as the head coach, and the Isles looking to improve after winning their first playoff series in 23 years. Early on in the season the Islanders were struggling to find ways to win, and squandered opportunities to earn points.
Ultimately this would cost Capuano his job. On January 17 the Islanders were sitting at 17-17-8 and near the bottom of the Eastern Conference. The timing seemed a little off as the Islanders were coming off of a 4-0 shutout win against the Bruins, but Capuano was let go.
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Doug Weight Era
The Doug Weight Era would officially begin on January 19th against the Dallas Stars. John Tavares scored two goals, and Thomas Greiss recorded a shutout as the Weight Era began with a 3-0 Islanders win. The Isles hit the ground running under Weight and ended January on a 5-0-1 run.
Not only were the Islanders playing like a new team, but they were also able to make up ground in the standings. They would eventually find themselves in a playoff spot, and played the rest of the season in a dogfight for the second wild card spot.
Along with their slow start, playing in the Metropolitan division would play against the Isles. Nine teams in the NHL would eclipse the 100 point plateau and four of those teams played in the Metropolitan division.
The Islanders played well under interim coach Doug Weight. He lead them to a 24-12-4 record and battle for a playoff spot down the stretch. The Isles beat the Devils in their penultimate game of the season, but would be eliminated from playoff contention soon after as the Maple Leafs beat the Penguins.
In the season finale, the Islanders would beat the Senators and extend their season-ending winning streak to six. It was a valiant fight back into the playoff picture, but would ultimately end just short as the Maple Leafs finished the season with 95 points.
2016-2017 was a rollercoaster ride of a season. Despite slow starts, both Andrew Ladd and Jason Chimera would hit the 20 goal mark (23 and 20 respectively).
The Islanders slow start would ultimately be their demise. They dug themselves a hole they were just not able to climb out from. Now for one of the most important offseasons in recent Islanders’ history. Along with finding a head coach, they also must try to extend John Tavares.