1. Not Frauds
Since the 2018-19 season, the Islanders hold an 83-50-17 record. With 183 points, that’s the seventh-best record in the NHL over that period. In the playoffs over those two years, the Islanders hold a 17-13 record and 0.567 point percentage. That ranks them sixth in that time. The Islanders are a good team. A top team in the NHL in fact.
Back in early December, the Islanders were accused of beating frauds. The reason, they weren’t a good Corsi team. Which was just as ridiculous as it was then as it is now.
At the time of that hot take, the Islanders were one of the better teams in the league. Of course, a free fall happened in the second half of the season but that can easily be justified with injuries and a different approach to the game from the coaching staff.
Sure, the Islanders don’t play the most attractive style of hockey in the league. They aren’t the most offensive team in the league (they rank 25th in goals for since 2018-19) and they certainly rely on their defensive system to grind out wins. But they find that ‘W’ more time than not.
And at the end of the day isn’t that what it’s all about? To, as Michael Wilbon puts it: “Win the damn game”?
There’s nothing fraudulent about the way the Islanders play. They play to their strengths. They play a strong system game and outwork their opponents. Again, it isn’t pretty, but it’s clearly effective.
Making a run to the Eastern Conference Finals while dispatching teams like the Florida Panthers (much better offense), the Washington Capitals (a better record), and the Philadelphia Flyers (better record and a hot goalie). Aside from an 8-2 blowout in Game 1 of the ECF, the Islanders went toe-to-toe with the Lightning who are one of if not the best team in the NHL.
The New York Islanders proved they aren’t frauds, and that they are in fact the real deal.