The New York Islanders have been a model organization for the past three years under the guidance of Barry Trotz and Lou Lamoriello. They’ve made the playoffs for three straight seasons and have appeared in two conference finals.
As someone who grew up watching a lot of bad hockey, it’s a welcomed change. With winning expectations change, and with high expectations there is only one goal in mind. Win a championship.
Today, that’s exactly what Casey Cizikas told the media when talking about this 2021-2022 Islanders team.
Now, every single team in the NHL has the goal of winning the Stanley Cup. If that isn’t your goal, then you’re going about playing in the NHL all wrong. There’s a major difference between a goal and something that’s actually achievable.
This isn’t hyperbole when Cizikas says it. The New York Islanders really could win the Stanley Cup this year. As we know quite well as Islanders fans, they lose to the defending champions each of the past two years.
Besides Tampa Bay, you can make a strong case that the Islanders are the next most deserving team in the East. Sure, that’s not to say that there aren’t other good teams in the East but when you start looking at the cores of the other East contenders, a lot of them are old.
For example, the Penguins, Capitals, and Bruins are all teams that are likely on the backside of their competitive window. Plus, Toronto has to actually win something in the playoffs before looking at them as a contender.
Sure, you have teams like Colorado and Vegas out West that are deserving of it too and there are no guarantees in this sport but Casey isn’t wrong with his statement. The Islanders are hungry, and if they play like it all year watch out.
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