Editorials

New York Islanders Season is Now About the Ping-Pong Balls

By Christopher Lizza
BUFFALO, NY - JUNE 25: (l-r) Former New York Islander players Ken Morrow and Mats Hallin attend the 2016 NHL Draft on June 25, 2016 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
BUFFALO, NY - JUNE 25: (l-r) Former New York Islander players Ken Morrow and Mats Hallin attend the 2016 NHL Draft on June 25, 2016 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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As the clock approaches midnight on the 2017-18 NHL regular season, the New York Islanders find themselves playing out the string to a very disappointing season. The only hope left this year for the blue and orange is the bounces of the ping-pong balls.

At Christmastime, it appeared that there was a lot to look forward to regarding the 2017-18 New York Islanders season. Instead, its wait until next year for the Isles.

Bright Spots

Clearly, the biggest bright spot for the Islanders this year has been Mathew Barzal. Barzal (20 Goals & 75 Points) is going to be the runaway winner for the Calder Trophy in the NHL this season.

While Anthony Beauvillier has struggled at time this season, he continues to develop. The hope is the 20-year old winger (14 Goals & 25 Points) is on the cusp of being a sure-fire top-six forward.

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Quietly, Ryan Pulock has started to establish himself in the NHL. Offensively the former 2013 first-round pick has been really good (7 Goals, 27 Points in 59 Games). He still needs to work on his game in the defensive zone.

Like to see Christopher Gibson be considered a bright spot by season’s end. The only way that happens is if the Isles play him the rest of the way and he plays well.

The Ping-Pong Balls

Come late April the 2018 NHL Draft Lottery will be a big night for the Islander franchise. It looks like the Isles will have two cracks to snag one of the top three picks in the lottery.

While it’s a foregone conclusion the Isles will miss the playoffs, it’s also very likely the Calgary Flames won’t be printing playoff tickets as well. Remember, the Isles own the Flames first-round pick this June (as well as their second-round selection) from the Travis Hamonic trade.

The Isles heading into Wednesday nights action hold the ninth lottery ping-pong ball, while Calgary has the 12th. The Isles could move up or down a spot or two come the night of the lottery, while Calgary’s current position is probably the best case scenario.

The Odds

At their current position, the Isles have a 17.1% chance of landing a top-three pick with their own ping pong ball. There is a 5.4% chance the Isles win the golden prize of the number one pick overall.

Calgary’s ping pong ball (owned by the Isles of course) has an 8.8% chance of landing in the top three and a 2.7% chance of winding up with the number one overall selection.

Between Calgary and their own at the upcoming NHL’s version of their church raffle, the Isles currently holds a 25.9% chance of winding up with a top-three selection. While it’s unlikely there is, of course, the chance the Isles hit a home run and wind up with two of the first three selections.

Next: Barzal Proves Critics Wrong Again

Isles fans get out your lucky rabbit’s foot and start rubbing them every day. The team is going to need it if they hope to get a top three pick in the draft this June.

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