The New York Islanders are three days away from starting their 2021-2022 season. So far this offseason, I did a player predictions article for every regular on the team (which you can read that thread here) and now it’s time to get into some team predictions.
Over the past two seasons, the Islanders have found themselves as one of four teams remaining in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. It’s no easy task to make it that far, and unfortunately, they lost both years to the defending champions.
They were as close as they’ve been this past year as it took seven games and a 1-0 loss in Game 7 that featured only a shorthanded goal, something the Islanders didn’t allow all season long until that point.
This year, they’re getting some key guys back healthy, like Anders Lee and they also added a couple of key veterans like Zach Parise and Zdeno Chara to play depth roles for this team. Is this finally the year that they conquer their Tampa Bay Lightning demons and finish the job?
Islanders 2021-2022 Season Expectations
Last year, the Islanders finished in fourth with 71 points to their name in the makeshift East division. Paced out over a full season they were on pace for 104 points. This year, the Islanders return to the Metropolitan Division and the schedule goes back to normal.
When looking at this team returning most of their core, and adding a couple of key veterans I expect them to be more consistent throughout the season. I have the Islanders finishing first in the Metropolitan with a 48-26-8 record for 104 points.
Yes, that’s the same point pace as last season but with the return of the divisional structure, and the Metropolitan expected to be a tight division, I don’t see any team cracking the 105 point mark in this division.
Metropolitan Division Standings
- Islanders 48-26-8 – 104 points
- Hurricanes 46-26-10 – 102 points
- Capitals 46-28-8 – 100 points
- Penguins 43-28-11 97 points *
- Rangers 40-30-12 92 points
- Flyers 39-34-9 87 points
- Devils 32-36-14 78 points
- Blue Jackets 30-40-12 72 points
Goals For: 252 – 14th
Goals Against: 207 – 3rd
Power Play: 20.7% – 15th
Penalty Kill: 82.9% – 6th
Playoff Series Predictions
NYI vs Penguins: NYI in 5
NYI vs Capitals: NYI in 6
ECF – NYI vs Lightning: NYI in 7
SCF – NYI vs Golden Knights: NYI in 7
I don’t make this prediction lightly. I’m not someone who picks the Islanders just because they’re my team and I’m rooting for them. In my six years of doing this, I’ve never made this preseason prediction and I’ve also never made a prediction that I didn’t believe.
If the Islanders remain healthy, there’s no reason that they can’t win it all this year. Slaying their demons in the Tampa Bay Lighting would be so poetic on their way to a championship. This year feels different, maybe that comes back to bite me in June but I’m willing to take that risk now.
It’s Stanley Cup or bust for this New York Islanders team. Buckle up, it should be a fun ride for the Islanders this year.