The New York Islanders aren't going to be in the NHL playoffs but there's a chance that their AHL affiliate can make the post-season. After missing the playoffs in 2020-21 and with the season canceled in 2019-20, this is the first time they'd be back in the AHL postseason since 2018-19.
Tonight if things go right, they might just get to the postseason.
New York Islanders AHL affiliate quest for playoffs
Here's what needs to happen for the B-Isles to get into the playoffs on Friday night:
-A win over Springfield
-A Lehigh Valley loss
-A Hartford loss
Springfield sits third* in the AHL's Atlantic Division, while the B-Islanders sit in sixth*. Unfortunately for Bridgeport, they're absolutely dismal against the Springfield Thunderbirds. In nine meetings on the year, Bridgeport is 2-7-2 against Springfield.
*Rankings are based on points percentage. AHL teams aren't playing the same number of games this year.
Getting that much-needed win is going to be difficult for the Islanders. Without it, the other results don't really matter. Picking up the win is priority number one. As it should be. But, for the sake of this post, what about the other games that need to go the Isles way?
Lehigh is the worst team in the Atlantic Division and near the bottom of the AHL. They play Hershey, but it's not like Hershey is a whole lot better. Specifically recently. The Bears hold a 3-6-1 record over their last 10 games. But a win and one other result going Hershey's way and they could also book their ticket to the postseason.
Hartford takes on the Charlotte Checkers tonight. Charlotte is one of the top teams in the AHL. Hartford is very much not. Specifically of late. In their last 10, the Rangers affiliate has gone 1-8-1 and is on a three-game losing streak.
Obviously, nothing is certain in hockey, but there's a good chance the B-Isles will get the result they're looking for in this game.
Take Care of Yourself
But like I said, priority number one is to get that W over Springfield. They can't hope to get help from the other teams in the league. They need to take care of themselves first. Get the win that's all that matters.
Adding an interesting wrinkle to the B-Isles quest for the post-season tonight is the potential debut of promising prospect Aatu Räty.
On Thursday, the New York Islanders called up Otto Koivula on an emergency basis. With Jean-Gabriel Pageau out with COVID the Isles needed a center, so up went Koivula. That leaves a gap in the B-Isles top 6 down the middle. Enter Aatu Räty, possibly.
With tonight being a massively important game for the B-Isles we might get a chance to see what the Isles top prospect looks like on North American ice. It's gonna be a must watch game down in Bridgeport.
The best place to get the game is through the AHL's AHLTV.