The 2023-24 NY Islanders are a mirror image of their 2017-18 roster.

These 2 rosters can arguably be the most frustrating in recent memory.
Dec 27, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders center Mathew Barzal (13) celebrates his goal in
Dec 27, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders center Mathew Barzal (13) celebrates his goal in / Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports

The NY Islanders have played the most inconsistent roster in recent memory. Monday night's overtime win against the Philadelphia Flyers replicates the team's story in just one game. The Isles had a 3-2 lead with just 10 seconds left in regulation. Per usual, Morgan Frost ties the game at 3 on a slapshot set up by Jamie Drysdale. Right as we all believe the Isles will lose in overtime, Brock Nelson scores the game-winner just to suck us all back in.

As quoted in the 1972 film, 'The Godfather', "Just as I thought I was out, they pull me back in". When fans think back to 2023-24, we will all groan in frustration for all the missed opportunities. To make matters more agonizing, the Eastern Conference is very mediocre as the Flyers, Washington Capitals, and Detroit Red Wings have all failed to safely secure a playoff position. While 2023-24 will live in infamy as a disappointment, there is one season that comes to mind as nearly identical.

The 2017-18 season was just as daunting

The Islanders this season have had a few breakout performances. Before his recent struggles, Noah Dobson was competitive for the James Norris Trophy with 66 points recorded. Mathew Barzal has found success with 75 points playing alongside a 30-goal scorer in Bo Horvat. All of this without mentioning Nelson and Kyle Palmieri's contributions, recording 30 and 24 goals respectively.

The 2017-18 roster saw even more breakout talent. Barzal won the Calder Award after posting 22 goals and 63 assists. In the final year of his contract, the captain turned nemesis John Tavares scored 37 goals while Josh Bailey took advantage by recording 71 points playing alongside him. Jordan Eberle scored 25 goals in his Islanders debut while future captain Anders Lee produced a career high of 40 goals. Anthony Beauvillier also established himself with 21 goals and 15 assists in his sophomore season.

On the blue line, Ryan Pulock showcased his 95 MPH slapshot by recording 10 goals and 22 assists. Adam Pelech became an NHL regular by leading the team with 142 blocked shots while Scott Mayfield proved his worth with 77 blocks in just 47 games. Nick Leddy also had a solid offensive season, recording 10 goals and 32 assists.

If an Islanders fan were to read these statistics without knowing the season's record, we would all think the team won 50 games and was competitive in the Metropolitan Division. However, the team's record was 35-37-10, good enough for just 7th place. The Isles under head coach Doug Weight managed to allow a close to franchise-worse 296 goals while scoring an impressive 264. Suffice it to say, neither the coaching style of Weight or Lane Lambert lasted behind the Isles' bench.

The defense and goaltending in 2017-18 was almost identical to this season's roster. Just like Ilya Sorokin, Jaroslav Halak led the NHL with 1,744 save attempts. Somehow, he stopped 1,583 of these shots which resulted in a .908 save percentage. The only difference is the backup goaltending statistics. After being an integral part of the Isles late-season resurrection in 2016-17, Thomas Greiss did not perform well enough to save the team once more. He finished the season with a .892 save percentage, which is nowhere close to Semyon Varlamov's .911 this season.

While 2022-23 will forever pull at our heartstrings for most tantalizing, the 2017-18 season is arguably just as agonizing if not more so. This Islanders team had goal scorers all across the top six, while the current roster cannot find a left-winger to play alongside Horvat and Nelson. The 2017-18 season gets forgotten about since any memory of the Barclays Center makes our hair crawl. However, this season lives in infamy because of the roster's offensive capabilities. Such as 2023-24, had this team been led with a Barry Trotz-type of defensive structure, the Isles would have been a playoff team in 2017-18 as well.