The Islanders are on the brink of doing something they haven’t done in 6 years: compete in the playoffs. The team was constantly the worst in the Atlantic is now 2nd in the division and one of the most feared in the east.
The Islanders are one of the hottest teams in the NHL right now, with points in 9 of their last 10 they have jumped to 7th place in the east. Now with only 4 games left in the regular season, the Islanders will try to maintain the momentum they’ve built over the the past month.
The Islanders have stood on the ever widening shoulders of goaltender Evgeni Nabokov who has played 38 games this season and is tied for second place with 22 wins. Nabokov has been the keystone in the Islanders recent success and has seemed to only get stronger as the season progressed. If they hope to have a successful playoff run Nabokov will have to continue his extraordinary play.
There is already some buzz surrounding Jonathan Tavares who is (rightly) being mentioned as a possible candidate for the league MVP. Tavares is averaging more than a point per game and is currently 10th overall in points. He has had a knack for making the right play at the right time. He is currently tied for 4th in the league with 5 game-winning goals.
Expect a playoff atmosphere at today’s game against the Winnipeg Jets, who are currently in 9th place in the east and only 2 points behind the 8th place NY Rangers.
Following today’s game against the Jet, the Islanders will have a much deserved 2 days break before closing out the season facing the Carolina Hurricane, Philadelphia Flyers, and Buffalo Sabres, all of whom have been eliminated from playoff contention.