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New York Islanders NHL Metropolitan Division Struggles

TAMPA, FL - JANUARY 28: Alexander Ovechkin #8 of the Washington Capitals takes part in the 2018 Honda NHL All-Star Game between the Atlantic Division and the Metropolitan Divison at Amalie Arena on January 28, 2018 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
TAMPA, FL - JANUARY 28: Alexander Ovechkin #8 of the Washington Capitals takes part in the 2018 Honda NHL All-Star Game between the Atlantic Division and the Metropolitan Divison at Amalie Arena on January 28, 2018 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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The New York Islanders are getting ready to begin a new season. Last year they finished 13-13-2 against Metropolitan division opponents. 2018-2019 will need to show improvements.

Naturally, divisional games are the most important over the course of a season. Not only are they the teams you play the most, but also the teams you battle and jockey with for playoff positions. The New York Islanders 13-13-2 record looks decent on the surface.

Digging a little deeper it becomes clear where the Islanders need to improve. The Isles did most of their damage against the Flyers and Rangers. Out of the 13 wins, seven came against Philadelphia (3) and the Rangers (4).

Despite a lackluster 2017-18, the Islanders continued their dominance over the Rangers going 4-0-0. The only other Metropolitan team the Islanders beat multiple times would be the Carolina Hurricanes. They split the season series against the Hurricanes 2-2-0.

Improving VS the Upper Tier

The Isles only managed four wins against the other four Metro teams. The Islanders went a combined 4-10-2 against the Washington Capitals, Pittsburgh Penguins, New Jersey Devils, and Columbus Blue Jackets.

Looking ahead to 2018-19 the Islanders will have to do more against these upper tier teams in the Metro. The only playoff team the Islanders had success against were the Philadelphia Flyers. Keep in mind two of those wins against the Flyers came Thanksgiving week in overtime.

There are plenty of question marks surrounding the Isles. It’s easy to see them becoming a basement dwelling team again, and by the same token, they can also be a team that sneaks its way into the playoffs.

Getting a few extra wins against the other Metropolitan teams is the easiest way to guarantee a competitive season on the Island. Interdivision games can change the outlook of a team’s season.

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Next. Devon Toews 2018-2019 Expectations

It’s not an easy task by any stretch of the imagination but playing better against the Capitals, Penguins, Devils, and Blue Jackets can help the Islanders play late into the spring.

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