New York Islanders: Metropolitan Division Will Be Yearlong Dogfight
By Billy Lewis
The New York Islanders are off to good start for the 2017-2018 season. However, they play in a division in which first and last place are separated by a mere six points.
After a Thursday’s game against the Carolina Hurricanes, the New York Islanders find themselves with a 10-6-2 record for 22 points. Ranking them fourth in the Metropolitan.
The Metro division has a wide range of games played. The Hurricanes have played 17 games and the Pittsburgh Penguins have the most games played in the Metro with 21. Both the Islanders and New Jersey Devils have played 18 games, but the Devils sit atop the division with 25 points.
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The Islanders 22 points through 18 games mean they are getting 1.22 points per game. If you work that for a full 82 games it would have the Isles finishing with 100 points.
Four teams in the Metro are on pace for pointo totals between 113-98 points. And that’s not counting the surging Washington CApitals and New York Rangers.
Improving the Point Total
The Islanders offense has been on fire this year. They are scoring an average of 3.66 goals per game, good enough for second in the NHL. On the flip side, they are giving up 3.27 goals per game, or ninth worst in the league.
The Islanders need a goalie to step up and take the reins as number one. Both Jaroslav Halak and Thomas Greiss have been starting goalies in the league. If they get better goaltending the Isles can really make some noise.
Looking back at the game against the Washington Capitals, the Isles lost 4-3. The Isles greatly outplayed the Caps however, Halak just wasn’t able to make a save and it cost the Isles the game.
Let’s say the Isles win that game, they would be at 24 points or good for 1.33PPG. That would improve the Islanders projected point total from 100 to 109. Obviously, the season is young and so that jump will be more dramatic, but 109 points would all but guarantee a playoff spot.
Next: Who Are The Isles Three Best Defenders
The Islanders have only played four games against Metropolitan opponents this year (2-2-0). They’ll have plenty of games to decide which way this season plays out. Buckle up Isles fans, this can be a wild ride.