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New York Islanders Set Winning Expectation for 2018-19

UNIONDALE, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 16: Head coach Barry Trotz of the New York Islanders handles bench duties against the Philadelphia Flyers during a preseason game at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on September 16, 2018 in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
UNIONDALE, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 16: Head coach Barry Trotz of the New York Islanders handles bench duties against the Philadelphia Flyers during a preseason game at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on September 16, 2018 in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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With some questionable roster moves, the outcome for the New York Islanders isn’t bright in 2018-19. But it seems that the expectation from the Isles is to win.

The construction of the New York Islanders 2018-19 roster was capped off with blue-chip defensive prospect Devon Toews being sent to the AHL. The Islanders have a number of promising youngsters in the system, not a single one made the team in 2018-19. Which created a lot of questions with Islanders fans.

Namely, by leaving some of that young talent in the AHL can the Islanders be successful this season?

With a roster that is thin down the middle, is loaded with bottom six talent, and is weak defensively it’s hard to see how the Islanders can have a winning record in 2018-19. New head coach and 2018 Stanley Cup champion Barry Trotz believes the Islanders can be winners.

Winner’s League

Trotz’, speaking to the media, indicated that the Islanders were in the “winners league” and in fact not the “developmental league”.

By these comments, it’s clear that the aim for the Islanders is to be a winning team in 2018-19. Based on the construction of the roster that seems like it’s going to be hard to do.

It’s not that it’s impossible. The New York Islanders top six, outside of Brock Nelson looks quite strong. That top line of Mathew Barzal, Anthony Beauvillier, and Josh Bailey looks pretty dangerous.

But its the bottom six, a defensive core who will rely on  Ryan Pulock to be better, and a goaltending duo that is coming off their worst season in years.

It’s hard to see the Islanders being competitive let alone having a winning season in 2018-19. It’s why some projections for the 2018-19 NHL season have the New York Islanders slated to be at the bottom of the league this season.

If anyone can set up the Islanders to win even though the roster isn’t optimized with talent, its Barry Trotz. It’s going to be a tall task and he’s going to need every player to buy into what he’s selling. Again, he’s probably the only coach out there who could get that type of buy-in.

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But even then, even with every player totally sold what Barry is selling it’s hard to imagine the Islanders being a winning team.

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