NY Islanders still have a hill to climb

New York Islanders v Carolina Hurricanes - Game Five
New York Islanders v Carolina Hurricanes - Game Five / Jaylynn Nash/GettyImages

When the New York Islanders lost Game 4 at home versus the Carolina Hurricanes and were now facing elimination, they were facing a mountain to climb. After Game 5's, 3-2 win in Carolina, they are now facing a hill to climb.

If the Islanders can hold serve on Friday at UBS Arena they would have made this a one-game winner take all scenario. While winning any Game 7 on the road is a tall order, along with the fact Carolina's home ice is a tough place to win, this is what the blue and orange faithful are praying for. Isles fans should be willing to take their chances with Ilya Sorokin in between the pipes.

Still, a Hill to Climb

Since 2009 there have been 11 NHL teams to come back from a 3-1 deficit (NY Rangers have done it three times in that span) and win the series (interesting to note between 2005 - 2008 no team accomplished that). The Isles are trying to become the 12th squad to do so since the 2004 Montreal Canadiens.

While the Isles still have a chance of winning the next two versus the Hurricanes make no mistake this will be difficult. Even with their forward group depleted Carolina keeps coming at you with the depth that they have on their roster. Youngster Seth Jarvis and veteran Paul Stastny have stepped up for the Canes in this series as an example.

To be able to climb this hill there are a couple of keys. The first is if the Isles can play from in front as they did in Game 5 their chances of winning go up considerably. In the two games the Isles have won in this series (Games 3 & 5) they have scored first. It's no secret in the last few years when the Isles have had success that playing from in front has been a huge part of their winning formula.

The second thing is the Isles need to get some power-play goals when the opportunity knocks. The difference in this series so far is Carolina has scored 5 goals with the man advantage, while the Isles are a putrid 1 for 15.

Carolina's power play is operating on 21.7% with the man advantage while the Isles are a mind blogging 6.7%. Getting just one power-play goal in Game 6 as well as a potential Game 7 could be the difference between the Isles winning or losing this series.

Isles fans have had a couple of days to savior Game 5's victory. However, the Isles still have a hill to climb if they are going to win this series.