The New York Islanders could be on the cusp of winning the Stanley Cup according to GM Garth Snow. Have you stopped laughing yet?
New York Islanders GM Garth Snow seems emboldened by his recent job security. At least the potential job security he has, we still aren’t entirely sure if the owners will, in fact, review everyone’s position or not.
In Ledecky’s podium speech yesterday he intimated that all positions would be reviewed. But in today’s prepared statement for all fans given on Twitter, there was no mention of this review.
So who knows what’s going on exactly.
But in speaking to media Garth Snow indicated that the New York Islanders might be close to the Stanley Cup. Here’s the full quote:
"“For me, 2006, when I took over this position, it was a situation where it was an all-out rebuild where we had to bring in talent through the draft,” Snow told reporters. “Now we’re in a situation where we feel we can compete for a Stanley Cup.”"
The NHL isn’t like the NBA, where worst to first is a real possibility, and in fact a reality. One guy in the NBA can make all the difference. Put LeBron James on any team and they instantly become favorites to go to The Finals.
In the NHL it doesn’t work like that. LeBron is on the floor for about 80% of the game over his NBA career. John Tavares plays 33% of the game for the Islanders. You can see why a single guy makes a big difference in the NBA.
The NHL isn’t a worst to first type of league. He’s a bit more proof.
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Since 2010 only 12 teams in the NHL have gone from the bottom four in the league to the playoffs in the previous year. That’s a 30% conversion from the bottom of the league to the playoffs in a sinlge season. And once there 92% of the teams get bounced in the first round.
The only team to go from a bottom four spot to the playoffs and then push past the first round was McDavid’s Oilers from last season. That’s it. Unless Colorado and New Jersey can do better this season. Good luck.
But that’s the bottom four teams in the league. The New York Islanders aren’t in the bottom four. They finished 22nd in the league this season. So better than the bottom four, and by that narrow interpretation they also theoretically have a better chance at the playoffs in 2018-19. Kinda.
Again, over the last ten seasons half of the teams that ranked 22nd made the playoffs the following season. So, the Islanders have a better chance at making the playoffs. But what about winning the cup?
Not a single team over the last ten seasons went from 22nd to hoisting the Stanley Cup the following year. The San Jose Sharks were close in 2015. They went all the way to the finals where the Penguins disposed of them like yesterday’s salad.
Even then, the Sharks made a crucial acquisition before the 2015-16 season. They got Martin Jones, essentially, the Los Angeles Kings. A starting goalie that got them a 2.40 GAA and 0.918SV% that season. They had a need and went out and addressed it.
With the current group of the players, there’s no way the Islanders can hoist the Stanley Cup next season. They’ll need some San Jose level of shrewdness to fill all of their needs in a single season. Making the playoffs seems possible, but the cup is another story altogether.
I badly want to be proven wrong here, but there’s nothing that tells me they could win the Stanley Cup next season without addressing their defense and goaltending.