NHL Playoffs: Can the New York Islanders Surprise the Eastern Conference?

The NHL playoffs are right around the corner. Each year there are surprises that happen. Some teams are supposed to be there while others shock the league. The Eastern conference is shaping up. The team that everyone is looking up to is the Tampa Bay Lightning. The usual teams are there as well. The Boston Bruins, Toronto Maple Leafs, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Washington Capitals just to name a few. My surprise team is the New York Islanders.

Defense Wins

The Islanders have been one of these best defensive teams in the league. The turnaround came when they hired Barry Trotz. The Washington Capitals fired Trotz after helping them win the Stanley Cup in 2018. They are currently tied with the Penguins for the Metropolitan Division. If the Islanders can win the division it might end up being the Pens and Capitals in the first round. Look for the Islanders to get into the second round.

Eastern Conference Finals?

They will be a tough opponent for anyone. The only team that they would have trouble against is the Lightning. Trotz is the front-runner to win the Jack Adams Trophy. He has turned this team around from last year. Goaltender Robin Lehner has made a new name for himself. He was struggling with off the ice mental issues. Lehner was just an afterthought for the Buffalo Sabers. He got a one-year contract with the Islanders and is showing he still a good goaltender. During the offseason, they need to extend him.

This team will be the team that surprises many. If they continue the path they are on they will be a team that needs to be feared in the future. No one has them picked to do much. It is much different because most would see the Rangers, not the Islanders.

An honorable mention would be the Carolina Hurricanes. Both will be teams that are not supposed to be there but are.

What team in the Eastern Conference will surprise you? Leave a comment below.
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