The New York Islanders have the best record in the Eastern Conference after earning a 7-4 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers Monday afternoon. They’ve become a strong, balanced team behind elite forward John Tavares and they’re showing no signs of slowing down.
As noted earlier today it would take a monumental collapse for them to miss the playoffs entirely, but what more are the Islanders capable of this season?
Jeremy Roenick was a fan of them prior to the start of the campaign and he sang their praises again tonight:
As Roenick noted, the Islanders have excelled despite free agent acquisition Mikhail Grabovski having a pretty lackluster campaign. If he can turn it around then that would be huge for the Islanders as they enter the stretch run of the season.
It also helps that there’s no clear favorite in the Eastern Conference, which makes the road to the Stanley Cup a little less treacherous. Even still, this is a team that hasn’t won a playoff series since 1993 and while the squad has been bolstered by veteran additions, its offensive core of Tavares, Kyle Okposo, Ryan Strome, Frans Nielsen, and Brock Nelson remains relatively inexperienced when it comes to postseason hockey. So even with their current 31-14-1 record, they still have plenty to prove.