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New York Islanders 3 Things Learned in First Half of 2018-19

UNIONDALE, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 01: Barry Trotz of the New York Islanders handles bench duties against the Columbus Blue Jackets at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on December 01, 2018 in Uniondale, New York. The Islanders were playing in their first regular season game since April of 2015 when the team moved their home games to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The Islanders defeated the Blue Jackets 3-2. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
UNIONDALE, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 01: Barry Trotz of the New York Islanders handles bench duties against the Columbus Blue Jackets at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on December 01, 2018 in Uniondale, New York. The Islanders were playing in their first regular season game since April of 2015 when the team moved their home games to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The Islanders defeated the Blue Jackets 3-2. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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New York Islanders
NEW YORK, NY – JANUARY 19: Doug Weight of the New York Islanders handles his first game as head coach against the Dallas Stars at the Barclays Center on January 19, 2017 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

2017-18 Was A Poor Representation

Goal scoring aside the 2017-18 season was a terrible year for the New York Islanders. The Islanders might have scored a bunch of goals (264, eighth in the NHL) but they were allowing way more (296, 31st in the NHL). Because of it, they tumbled down the standings finishing 17 points out of a playoff spot. Missing the post-season for the second straight year.

The roster was widely mocked for how poor they’d been. Even face-of-the-franchise John Tavares bolted for what seemed like greener pastures out in Toronto.

But 48 games in and the New York Islanders sit a the top of the Metropolitan Division with a three-point buffer. League-wide, the Islanders sit in sixth with 63 points. A point above the previously mentioned Toronto Maple Leafs.

While coaching is widely seen as the core reason for the Islanders resurgence (and rightfully so) coaching isn’t the only factor. The Islanders have more talent that was previously believed. It’s not to say they are a supremely talented unit. But there’s talent here that has been discredited due to the 2017-18 season.

To make a point look at Nick Leddy. Leddy had a bad year last season has bounced back in 2018-19. He isn’t on pace for a 40+ point season but his +/- is sitting at +3 nowhere near the -42 he received last season. He may not put up 40 points but his defensive game is back.

There’s more talent than we thought in this lineup. The 2017-18 was a poor representation of what this franchise had.

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