The New York Islanders are being slept on again for the 2019-2020 season. They again will prove people wrong this year.
It’s prediction time. With the NHL season starting up next week, it’s time for the preseason picks to start making their way around. The New York Islanders, for the second year in a row, are being slept on.
This time, it’s USA today who thinks the New York Islanders will regress. Just add them to the ever-growing list of doubters.
In their Metropolitan Division preview, they have the Capitals, Hurricanes, and Penguins finishing in the top three slots. I have no issue with either of those three picks. I think it’s fair to assume the Capitals repeat as Division Champs, the Hurricanes are on an upward trajectory and the Penguins haven’t missed the playoffs since George W Bush was in office.
You could convince me that the Isles finish fourth in the division, that’s where I put them in our Metro Rankings on the latest podcast. USA Today put Columbus in that spot. Columbus?
The Blue Jackets lost Artemi Panarin, Matt Duchene, Ryan Dzingel, and Sergei Bobrovsky in free agency and replaced them with…*checks notes*…Gustav Nyquist as the big free agent piece. This team is not touching 90 points this year.
Then come the Rangers who are projected to finish with 82 points. That projection is fair for them, I just don’t see them finishing ahead of the Islanders. They shouldn’t be at the bottom of the division but fifth place might be a little generous.
Philadelphia is then in sixth place, ahead of the Islanders. Is sixth all that radical, no, but when you put them ahead of the Islanders that’s when there’s an issue.
They have the Isles projected to finish seventh with 81 points. That’s a 22 point difference from a year ago with a near carbon copy of the roster. Do I think the Isles regress? Yeah, but not by a 20 point margin.
We’re talking about maybe a five-point slide in the standings. Despite their lack of “pop” in the top six they will still be a very good defensive team and you’d have to assume they at least marginally improve that power play.
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The Isles are getting no respect from the national media for a second year in a row. They’ll just have to prove them wrong again.