3 reasons fans can still be optimistic about the Islanders in Round 1 of the NHL Playoffs

The New York Islanders may be down 2-0 following a crushing loss on Monday to the Carolina Hurricanes, but there is still reason for optimism.
Apr 22, 2024; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA; New York  New York Islanders center Bo Horvat (14)
Apr 22, 2024; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA; New York New York Islanders center Bo Horvat (14) / James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports
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The series is returning to Long Island

It’s always great to see a playoff series return to home ice in hopes that doing so will spark a comeback effort. But if you’re the New York Islanders, having a pair of games on home ice doesn’t just provide the opportunity to have the home crowd at your back; it also means going back to a place you have been at your best this season. 

During the regular season, the Isles finished 21-10-10 at UBS Arena, giving them 52 points. In 75.6 percent of their home games, they snagged at least one point. And among Eastern Conference playoff teams, they are tied with only Carolina for the fewest losses in regulation at home. 

No, the Isles didn’t fare as well when games went into overtime at UBS Arena, as nobody in the entire Eastern Conference suffered more overtime losses at home than New York. The upside is that 3-on-3 hockey doesn’t exist in overtime during the playoffs, as the sudden death period(s) continue as though they’re part of the game. 

So the Islanders may be down in a 2-0 deficit, but this series is nowhere near over. If the Isles can string together a solid 60 minutes of play, catch the NHL universe off-guard again, and use home-ice advantage to perhaps even the series, then they may just tie this up over the weekend. 

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(Statistics provided by Hockey-Reference, ESPN.com, QuantHockey, and Natural Stat Trick)