The New York Islanders are set to start their second round match against the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday. And they’re still considered underdogs.
Money Puck’s math has the Carolina at a 54.6 percent chance of making the third round over the Islanders 45.4 percent chance of making round three.
Think about that for a second. The New York Islanders, the second-ranked team in the Metropolitan Division with a 103 point season who also swept the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first round, has a lower chance than the first wild-card Carolina Hurricanes.
Suited to the Role
That’s perfectly fine. The New York Islanders have been the underdog the entire season. From well before a puck was dropped on the 2018-19 NHL season the New York Islanders weren’t given any respect.
They’re literally the Rodney Dangerfield of the NHL. They never get no respect.
Again now, headed into the second round of the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Islanders aren’t getting any respect. They just spent the season proving everyone wrong and still they aren’t favored to win their series against the Hurricanes.
The New York Islanders spent the entire regular season showing that outworking an opposition works in the NHL. And still, nothing.
The Islanders might not have the most talent in the NHL, but they know what they’re good at and they stick to it. That strategy won them 48 games this season and 103 points. Something no one saw coming. Through the 82 games regular season they proved the doubters and made the playoffs.
But the respect they earned from the regular season was short-lived. The Islanders would face the Pittsburgh Penguins in round one. Again, the Islanders (who were the higher ranked team) were the underdogs in the series.
The Islanders took them out in four games. Only one of the four games were even remotely close. The other three was all Islanders.
And now as the Islanders are set to face the wildcard Carolina Hurricanes. A team that finished with fewer points than the Islanders and isn’t the most talented either. And they’re the favored team.
That’s fine. The Islanders are used to the underdog role. They’ve been one all season long and they’ve dealt with it just fine.