The New York Islanders have four games this upcoming week against teams on the outside of the playoff picture. They need to take advantage of it.
Coming off an emotional win on Thursday night, the New York Islanders had a bit of a letdown on Friday evening. They dropped a game to the Capitals 3-1 after leading 1-0 for two periods of play. Now, the Caps and the Islanders are tied for first place with 81 points apiece.
Luckily, the Islanders have a relatively easy schedule this week. They find themselves playing the Flyers and Senators twice, and none of the games are a back to back situation so there are no excuses.
The Flyers come into town tomorrow, and the Isles are 1-0 against them this year with a 6-1 victory over them back in October in Philadelphia. The Flyers, who have been better lately, are still on the outside of the playoff picture by a significant margin.
They find themselves five points back from Columbus who is holding down the second Wild Card spot in the East. Both games against Philly are at the Coliseum and are both on a weekend so expect a big crowd for either game.
On Tuesday and Thursday, the Isles have a Home and Home against the Ottawa Senators, the worst team in the league. They have just 49 points on the year and are 2-8 in their last 10 games.
At the deadline, they sold off big pieces like Mark Stone and Matt Duchene and have struggled mightily. They’ve lost six games in a row heading into the weekend. Needless to say, they aren’t a competitive team right now.
In these four games, the Islanders have to come away with six points, that’s the mark I’m setting for this team. Anything less would have to be looked at as a failure going up against teams of their caliber.
When you’re in a tight playoff race you need all the points you can get, and beating up on the bottom feeders is how you can do it. I’ll give then a split with Philly, but they have to take both games from Ottawa.
March is a busy month with 16 games on the Calendar, including last night’s action. This portion of the season will make or break your playoff positioning.