The Metropolitan Division has been tight all season long. But there’s an opportunity for the New York Islanders to create some distance.
The Metropolitan Divison is so strong that four teams are fighting for the two wild-card spots in the Eastern Conference. The New York Islanders are one of those four teams along with the Columbus Blue Jackets, Carolina Hurricanes, and New York Rangers.
Only four points separate those four teams as they try to make the post-season.
We’ve talked all year about how neither of these teams are giving up an inch in the standings. But recently, Metro teams have hit a bit of a wall. Opening up an opportunity for the New York Islanders.
Hitting a Wall
Aside from the division-leading Washington Capitals and the Philadelphia Flyers, teams in the Metropolitan Division have hit a wall when it comes to stringing together wins and even points in the standings.
The over-performing Columbus Blue Jackets have gone 2-4-4 over their last ten games, taking six points from a possible 20 points. The Carolina Hurricanes have gone 4-4-2 over their last ten and 0-2-1 over their last three games. The surging Rangers have lost back-to-back games for the first time since January 21st. Even the previously division-leading Pittsburgh Penguins have lost six games in a row. Effectively dragging them into the conversation.
The Islanders, with a 3-5-2 record over their last ten games, are right in the thick of the Metro teams hitting a wall.
But with all these teams performing poorly, there’s an opening in the division for a team to start creating some distance if they can string together some wins.
If the Islanders can play like the games matter, they just might be able to take advantage of the opportunity in this division.
This is the same team that went on a 17-game point streak earlier in the year. In fact, it’s stronger with the addition of Jean-Gabriel Pageau to anchor the third line. Something they didn’t have during that streak with Derick Brassard playing second line right-wing.
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This division won’t be down and out for long. Now is the time for the Islanders to string together some results to distance themselves from the pack.