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Islanders High Optimism Brings Raised Expectations

BUFFALO, NY - FEBRUARY 15: Anders Lee #27 of the New York Islanders and Jean-Gabriel Pageau #44 during the game against the Buffalo Sabres at KeyBank Center on February 15, 2021 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Kevin Hoffman/Getty Images)
BUFFALO, NY - FEBRUARY 15: Anders Lee #27 of the New York Islanders and Jean-Gabriel Pageau #44 during the game against the Buffalo Sabres at KeyBank Center on February 15, 2021 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Kevin Hoffman/Getty Images)
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The New York Islanders are coming off of their two most successful, post-cup era, seasons. Of course, they have been part of the final four teams, losing in Game 6 and Game 7 to the eventual champion Tampa Bay Lightning.

Last season’s Game 7 loss stung especially due to the absence of Anders Lee. It left New York Islanders’ fans wondering what if. Had the Isles got past Tampa, they would have had a favorable matchup against the Montreal Canadiens.

Game 7 in Tampa was back on June 25. A little under four months later, the Islanders will be ready to begin the 2021-2022 season. After losing back-to-back Conference Finals, the Isles will be looking to take that next step.

Two Conference Finals appearances have New York Islanders fans excited for the season

For far too long Isles fans would enter a season with the playoffs as a pipe dream. Lou Lamoriello and Barry Trotz have changed that. Entering 2021-2022 not only are the playoffs expected, but anything less than a Stanley Cup appearance could be a disappointment.

The NHL’s new home, ESPN’s, season preview showed just how optimistic fans should be. There were 22 analysts that gave their season predictions, 13 of whom picked the Islanders to win the Metropolitan Division.

Do you need more reason to feel optimistic? Four of the analysts, Don La Greca, Steve Levy, Arda Öcal, and Greg Wyshynski all picked the Isles to win the Cup. This team seemingly has all the pieces to bring the Cup back to Long Island.

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The Islanders will be opening their new home, UBS Arena, in November of 2021. Time will tell if the atmosphere will compare to the Old Barn. A Stanley Cup run would surely help break in their new home.

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