At times it seems as though the New York Islanders have hit rock bottom this season. They have had just brutal losses but still, sit on the verge of a playoff spot.
Entering Monday the New York Islanders have 57 points. That puts them tied with the Flyers for the second wild-card spot, but since the Flyers have a game in hand, they currently hold the spot.
As infuriating as the Islanders are, they still surprise us with a big win here and there. Saturday night against Columbus the Isles were able to pull a huge four-point swing in their favor. By beating the Blue Jackets in regulation the Islanders secured their two points, and also kept the Blue Jackets off the board.
The Islanders have played both like worldbeaters and the laughing stock of the league at different points of the year. If they can find the magic they had in October and November the playoffs would almost be guaranteed. If they continue to struggle, we could be in for another long offseason.
Directly behind the Islanders in the standings are the Carolina Hurricanes and New York Rangers. the Canes have 56 points and the Rangers are at 55. The Isles are looking up at the Flyers (57) and the Blue Jackets (58).
Opportunity to Pounce
If the Islanders beat the Predators they’ll jump both the idle Flyers and Blue Jackets. They’ll also just be six points out of first place in the Metropolitan division.
Do I think the Islanders will finish first in the Metro? Absolutely not. However, I do believe the Islanders can be a top three team in the Metro if they figure out these ailments they’ve faced the last two months. I would settle for the second wild card but the Islanders should at the very least be aiming for the top wild-card spot.
The NHL trade deadline is February 26 so these next three weeks may make or break Garth Snow‘s future. They are the right move or two away from being a real force. Let’s see if Snow can get the Isles the pieces they need.