Season is over. GG. Time to move on, right? Makes sense for New York Islanders fans to essentially tune out the remaining few games of the regular season. It's not always fun to watch games that don't matter.
But look, there are still a few reasons to watch these games. Not only to see the team perform better (hopefully) but there are still a few things to hope for with six games left on the season.
New York Islanders: Three things to hope for before end of season
Brock Nelson hitting 40 goals
It's a new career year for Brock Nelson. Seems like we've been talking about career years for the last three seasons with Brock Nelson. This year is just the latest.
With 34 goals and 56 points on the year, Brock is like a fine wine, he's just getting better with age. That goal total has already obliterated his previous career-high of 26. But man I want to see him hit 40.
Hitting a goal per game over the final stretch seems improbable. But I desperately want to see him hit 40. I remember the years when hitting 20 goals was key for Brock. Doubling that up now would be, for lack of a better word, epic.
Oliver Wahlstrom getting back in
We've been saying this for a few years now, but the Islanders need some of their younger players to step up and cement themselves into top spots in the lineup. Noah Dobson has clearly done so already. Now we wait for Wahlstrom to do the same.
Things aren't going too well for him of late what with being a healthy scratch for the last two games and all. But as we go down the stretch can Wahlstrom step back in and start earning Trotz's trust again?
Wahlstrom seems like exactly what the Islanders need going forward. He's a shoot-first player with a cannon of a shot on an ELC through the 2022-23 season. They just need him to start playing the way they want him to when the puck isn't on his stick in the O-Zone. We'll use the next six games to (1) see if he can get back in and (2) can he play well off the puck if he does.
Noah Dobson hits 50
Just like Nelson, he's not that close, but close enough that it could happen. With 43 points on the year, Noah Dobson is seven points away from hitting 50 points on the year. No one would have believed that was possible at the start of the year or even by December 1 for that fact.
The Isles haven't seen a 50-point defenseman since 2008-09 when Mark Streit did it (56 points in 74 games). Dobson doing so now would be a huge nod to his future potential. Remember, he's only 22 years old.
This is not to say that if Dobson doesn't hit 50 the season is a bad one. Dobson's season is already a huge success for him and for the Islanders. Getting to 50 points is just such a nice clean number. It would also push him closer to the top 10 in scoring for defensemen, which is extra nice.