The preseason predictions are out and the hockey experts once again are underestimating the New York Islanders. Will the so-called experts be right or will the blue and orange once again prove them wrong?
The New York Islanders were arguably the biggest surprise in the NHL last season. Many felt that Barry Trotz waved his magic wand with the Islanders last year who by all accounts were going to be a lottery team.
Many experts have the Isles taking a step back this season and maybe even more than that. TSN’s Sean Tierney has the Islanders finishing in sixth place in the Metro this season.
Experts aren’t sure if the Islanders can get a repeat performance in net this season. It’s also clear that the Isles opponents will probably not overlook as much this year. Some also felt the Isles got a bit of puck luck last year as well.
Everyone is entitled to their opinions but once again the experts are underestimating the Islanders.
Reason to Believe
Yes, the Isles got great goaltending last season but that was because they had two strong netminders, who they were able to split the time and therefor stay fresh. That is the case again this year with the Isles having Thomas Greiss once again along with Semyon Varlamov and one of the top goalie coaching staffs led by Mitch Korn.
Another huge factor for the Isles is how they play under Trotz without the puck. The Isles are one of the most defensive sound teams, as they keep high-end chances and juicy rebounds to a minimum.
Finally, the Isles secret sauce is they have strength in numbers. They are deep with their four forward lines. three defensive pairings and two goaltenders. Keep in mind the Isles have a number of talented youngsters knocking on the door as well. This allows Trotz to roll all the lines and keep everyone fresh game-in, game-out.
The Isles may not have as much star power as some other teams but at the end of the day Trotz and Lou Lamoriello are putting together a squad that focuses on playing winning hockey.
The Islanders being underestimated is something this team relishes and has them play with a chip on their shoulder. The Isles seem to thrive under that scenario.