The New York Islanders may be outside of a wild card spot, but after snagging a win on their first game back from the All-Star Break, they are only four points from overtaking the Detroit Red Wings (58 points). Therefore, the Isles are still well within reach of returning to the playoffs, and a strong February will put them in a good position to play some meaningful games next month.
While the entire team must step up if the Islanders want to see themselves remain in serious contention, there are five notable players whose game must either get to or remain at a high level. These aren’t all potential impact players, but also names who have been flying under the radar as of late.
It’s time for Bo Horvat to take over games in the clutch
In 49 games, Bo Horvat has been as-advertised for the Islanders, putting up a solid 45 points and 20 goals. While he isn’t leading the team in the points category, Horvat is second only to Brock Nelson in goals scored. He is also eclipsing the latter in two particular scoring categories - power play goals and game-winners.
Horvat’s production on the power play is something we need to keep seeing now that the All-Star Break is behind us and the most pivotal part of the season is approaching. The better he produces on the man advantage, the better New York’s chances of finally snagging a spot in the wild card when the stakes are growing.
Horvat is tied with Matt Barzal with three game-winning goals, but given his ability to come up stronger than everyone else regardless of the situation, he’s the one who must deliver clutch performances. He came to Long Island to convert this team into a serious contender, and now is the time to make good on that.