The Islanders might still have what to work on, but they have the depth and determination to pull through — something they have not had for a very long time.
It became obvious to me that both Ryan Strome and Brock Nelson deserved to make the cut. However, the better player didn’t get the job, as far as I’m concerned.
Islanders forward Josh Bailey is entering his sixth NHL season. The 23-year-old from Bowmanville, Ontario is working his tail off to ensure it’ll be better than the previous five.
Clutterbuck left Tuesday night’s split-squad game against the Flames in Calgary in the third period after delivering a hit. He was seen at Nassau Coliseum on Thursday morning walking with a limp and sporting a long gash on his thigh.
The New York Islanders are fortunate to have six hopeful Olympians, five of which will probably make the final cut to represent their respective countries. What impact does that have and what are their odds?
When the Islanders began their rebuild in 2008, following a dismal season and a grim recognition of the severe lack of prospects and future pieces they had in their system, they did not need to look far for role models on how how to turn things around.
The Islanders’ rallying cry is “Believe.” Even the most ardent of supporters might find that optimism difficult following Sunday’s home loss to the Penguins.
Islanders star John Tavares anticipated the open space he found so easily during the regular season to be whittled away. He never thought it would disappear entirely.
“I thought some guys worked hard and played a good game,” Islanders coach Jack Capuano said. “Again, with our club we need all 20 guys going, and we didn’t have all 20.”
Pittsburgh will begin its quest for a Stanley Cup without Sidney Crosby. And that’s good news for the Islanders.
While the Penguins are fixtures this time of year, New York is making its first playoff appearance since 2007.
So how do the Islanders pull this miracle off? They can start by watching “Miracle,” of course.
No, this team will not bring back the echoes of the great Islanders dynasty of 30-plus years ago. They are not going to win the Stanley Cup this year. But this team is young, hungry and improving. They have become the team that nobody wants to play.
All season I’ve stated the Islanders needed 54 points to make the playoffs. They have used a 7-0-3 run to get there. But where they are now can be attributed to many more factors, all of which had to happen.
The Islanders got a big home win against the Panthers on Tuesday night, yet there are still concerns and issues to overcome.