The New York Islanders have been playing a lot of up and down hockey this season. Thankfully, the positives do outweigh the negatives though. Going into their two-game series with Boston, the Islanders have won seven of their last ten games. This puts their record to 27-11-4 on the season.
In order to see if they are still a true contender this season, you must look at the positives and negatives of the team. If the positives outweigh the negatives, there is a good shot they are still a true team to beat in the NHL.
Positives for the New York Islanders
Let’s start with the positives which there are plenty of. First and foremost let’s look at the goalies. Semyon Varlamov and Ilya Sorokin have been a very tough duo to play against for any team. On the season, Varlamov who has played in 28 games has picked up 16 wins and eight losses with a .922 SV%.
Sorokin who is playing in his first season is absolutely playing like one of the best goalies in the NHL. In his first 15 games, Sorokin has picked up 11 wins and three losses. He has a .915 SV% which is uncharacteristic to many rookie goalies. Sorokin has been playing like he has been in the league for a couple of years now.
Another positive is our influx of young stars this season especially, guys like Noah Dobson, Oliver Wahlstrom, and Kieffer Bellows. Dobson has played in 68 games, 34 of which are from this season. So far this season he has picked up three goals and nine assists for a total of 12 points. This isn’t bad and rather good numbers for a defenseman.
Wahlstrom has been playing like a star as well. Wahlstrom has 42 games played, 33 of which have come from this season. He has 16 points on the season off of nine goals and seven assists. Bellows has picked up three goals on the season as well as providing valuable minutes to his team.
Negatives with New York Islanders
Unfortunately, we do have to be real here. Every team has things they could improve on. One of the biggest and first negatives for the Islanders is that we now have to contend the rest of the season without our captain Anders Lee. Lee picked up 12 goals and seven assists on the new campaign prior to getting injured.
This was a big loss to the Islanders and finding out how to do it without him won’t be an easy task at hand. Recently Islanders signed Kyle Palmieri and Travis Zajac to help add some depth to the line-up with the loss of their captain so hopefully, it will help to mitigate the damage.
Another negative and arguably the biggest is the Islanders have a consistency problem or lack thereof. The Islanders have not been consistently playing a full 60 minutes of hockey. The Islanders start out games great but once the second period comes the offense falls out and they tend to bounce back in the third.
Another inconsistency with the Islanders is their offense. If big names on the roster such as Mat Barzal, Josh Bailey, and Brock Nelson could score consistently this could push the team closer to the cup.
Wrapping It Up
There are a lot of positives on the Islanders, even more than the ones I named, and also unfortunately a few negatives, more than the ones stated above too. In this case, the positives do indeed outweigh the negatives in the Islanders organization and if they stay hot and play good hockey, they can go far into the playoffs and hopefully bring another cup back to Long Island.
Are the Islanders still a contender this season? Absolutely.