2018-2019 was a year full of surprises for the New York Islanders. Here are the five best moments of the season.
The New York Islanders 2018-2019 season is one that Islander fans won’t soon forget. Expectations were low for this team after a disastrous July 1 which saw their captain bolt for Toronto.
Instead of a dumpster fire of a season, the Islanders rallied together and put together a surprising season. It finished with the Islanders as one of the final eight teams standing.
The season had its fair share of ups and downs but at the end of the day, it will be remembered for its positivity, and a start of a new era. Here are some of the best moments of the year
Mathew Barzal Hat-trick vs Toronto
Rewind to December, when the Islanders were taking on John Tavares and the Toronto Maple Leafs for the first time this season. Toronto was awarded the preseason Stanley Cup and the rhetoric was how much better off JT is in Toronto.
In the second period, Mathew Barzal went to work. He got himself a natural hat-trick in the span of eight minutes. Our star had a better game, and it was perfect.
Robin Lehner shutout in his first game with the Islanders
In Robin Lehner’s first game as an Islander, he was fantastic. He stopped all 35 shots face. This would foreshadow how his season went for the Islanders. He went on to finish with a .930 save percentage and a 2.13 goals against average.
This was the game that set the tone for Lehner. It also started the Islanders fan natural love affair with the Robin Lehner story.
John Tavares returns to Coliseum
This date was circled on the calendar for a very long time. February 28, 2019, is a day that I won’t soon forget. Islanders fans were ruthless to Tavares in his return and it was everything we wanted it to be and more.
It also helped that the Islanders dominated and won 6-1.
Josh Bailey Game 1 OT winner
Game 1 was one of the more fun games of the season. It was a back and forth game and it was the first game the Islanders played in the playoffs in three years. The Penguins tied it late and then Josh Bailey hit the post with seconds winding down in the third period.
In overtime he made sure that he didn’t miss, giving the Islanders a 1-0 series lead. They would go on to sweep the series.
3 unanswered in 3rd period vs Winnipeg
As the season wore on the Islanders were struggling in March. They found themselves down by three goals in the third period against the Jets. Casey Cizikas tied the game with just under two minutes to play. It looked like the Isles were headed for overtime.
Then, 33 seconds later Jordan Eberle, who ended the season on fire, scored to give the Islanders a 5-4 lead.
This season was filled with ups and downs but mostly ups. While there were more than five great moments these ones stood out to me as season-defining moments for the New York Islanders.