The New York Islanders are getting ready to begin their trek to the 2020 NHL playoffs and will look to show the league just how good they can be.
The New York Islanders often find themselves as a forgotten team in the NHL. Despite finishing the 2018-2019 season with 103 points and a first-round sweep of the Penguins, the Isles still don’t get the respect they deserve.
During the regular season, they showed they can be a top tier team while playing at the top of their game. Their exhibition game against the Rangers, showed them getting back to Islanders hockey. They played great defense and had just enough offense to win 2-1.
Of course, the real test begins Saturday for the Isles. They’ll be taking on the Panthers in Game 1 in the opening best of five series.
The Islanders were 3-0-0 against the Panthers in the regular season, though their last meeting was on December 12. While the Isles looked sharp in their tuneup game, the Panthers lost to the Lightning 5-0.
Even a fully healthy Islanders team was not able to turn the Hockey Night in Canada folks into believers.
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Having a fully healthy team means Barry Trotz can get the team playing exactly how he wants them to. Though they may struggle at times to score, we know their stout defense will keep them in games.
In this year’s playoff format, the “play-in” teams will have a win or go home series, while the higher-seeded teams will just be playing for seeding. The do or die format should give an advantage to whichever team wins the play-in series.
If the Islanders are able to get past the Panthers, they may be set up for a long summer run. They’ll have a chance with a healthy lineup to be one of the top teams in the NHL again, while also getting a chance to silence the haters along the way.