03 April 2013
Founded in 1972, The New York islanders have not seen much playoff action since the 80’s. Islanders fans reminisce fondly of a time when the team was a menacing force to be reckon with. Between 1980 and 1984, the Islanders won 19 successive playoff series and four successive Stanley Cups (1980-83), cementing an unequaled status for the team in professional sports. However, the New York Islanders have seen various unsuccessful team rebuilds, money issues, poor management, and low spectator attendance in its more recent years. The Islanders have not seen a playoff series win since the 92-93 NHL season but seem to be making a long overdue push for the playoffs this year.
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March has clearly been a good month for the Islanders, as they seem to be really pushing hard for a playoff spot. Enthusiasts who want to place wagers may find this team a good choice in sport betting. Currently, the Islanders sit on the 8th place tied with their metropolitan area rivals the Devils (both with 39 points) after beating the Winnipeg Jets. Only 11 more games remain for the Islanders in the regular season, which if they prove to be as successful as their games in March, could garner the Islanders a playoff position. With Frans Nielsen’s go-ahead goals and Kevin Poulin's 23 saves, the NY Islanders were able to secure a critical 5-2 win against the Jets on Tuesday, Apr 2, 2013.
The team also secured a win against the Devils last April 1, with Nielsen scoring two goals. However, the Islanders seemed to get a little too comfortable with the early first period lead. The second period saw the Isles retreat and simply hold-on until the period was over. Unfortunately for the Islanders, the Devils adjusted towards their sleepy demeanor and managed to score a goal after minutes of constant pressure in the Islanders zone. The third period was an average effort, but nowhere near as chaotic as the second period. The Islanders were able to bury a third goal into the net with the first powerplay opportunity. Following their third goal, they simply held on and protected their lead until the end of the game. The Islanders got some other powerplay opportunities but were not able to maximize their advantage.
Keys to Playoff Success
Stronger Offensive Powerplay
Ultimately, while the crucial four-point game against the Devils was a win, it also revealed some improvements the team needs to make. The Islanders powerplay needs to be more effective and cannot act like it did against Pittsburgh. Given the Islanders current standing, every opportunity needs to be met with a confident and efficient offensive as it can mean the difference between a 9th and 8th position. Hopefully, their most recent win is a previews towards the rest of the month’s games.
What the Islanders need to focus on primarily is their defense. In two of the last seven games, they have been giving out leads, which is an issue that needs to be dealt with as soon as possible if they hope to enter the playoffs. It's a good thing that backup goalie Kevin Poulin played a fantastic game against Winnipeg while Evegeni Nabakov took his much-needed break. The team needs to push themselves desperately, especially on home ice. The team needs to focus on their mindset, as confidence seems to be a factor.
Another key element would be the young up-and comer Tavares. With his 4 goals and 7 assists this season, the Canadian born player believes the Islanders can make it to the playoffs this season. The player has a great way of predicting plays and is constantly changing his game, which makes him a lethal adversary.