New York Islanders: Are They Stanley Cup Contenders?
The New York Islanders are one of the best teams so far during the 2021 NHL regular season. New York is currently in first place in the East Division with a 15-6-4 record with 34 points. If the season ended today, the Islanders would face the Pittsburgh Penguins (14-9-1 record with 29 points) in the first-round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
New York has been impressive throughout the regular season up to this point even though they have beaten up the Buffalo Sabres recently. The New York Islanders won three consecutive games against Buffalo this past weekend and the most recent one was on Sunday afternoon by a final score of 5-2. Is New York a legitimate threat to go to the Stanley Cup Finals or not?
Some fans are skeptical that they are good and some of them think they are not. The New York Islanders will have a tough stretch of the schedule coming up. New York hasn’t done too well against Pittsburgh this season and has lost four of the six meetings against them.
The Islanders still have to face the Washington Capitals and the Philadelphia Flyers quite a bit moving forward. The good news is that they have also beaten up on the New Jersey Devils, the New York Rangers, and the Boston Bruins.
The New York Islanders are well coached by Barry Trotz and he has a defensive structure in place. New York has one of the best bluelines in the NHL led by Scott Mayfield, Adam Pelech, and Noah Dobson.
Sorokin’s record so far this season is 4-2-1 with a .912 save percentage and a 2.14 GAA, along with two shutouts. He has played in seven games for the New York Islanders.
Varlamov’s record so far this season is 11-4-3 with a .926 save percentage and a 2.10 GAA, along with three shutouts. He has played in 18 games so far this season.
Mathew Barzal is the heartbeat of the New York Islanders. He is one of the fastest skaters in the entire NHL.
Barzal has played in 25 games so far this season. He has scored nine goals and recorded 13 assists. Mathew Barzal’s plus/minus is 11.
Anders Lee is the captain of the New York Islanders. He has played in 25 games so far this season. Lee has scored 12 goals and recorded six assists so far this season. His plus/minus is 10.
This team can roll out four tremendous lines and play with a physical edge every single night for the New York Islanders. New York lost to the Tampa Bay Lightning in six games in the Eastern Conference Finals last season.
The Islanders have a chance to make another deep run this postseason if the ingredients fall right for them. It would be funny to see them win it all and open next season up at the new UBS Arena near Belmont Park after moving on from Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, New York.
The next game for the New York Islanders will be at home on Tuesday night against the Boston Bruins (13-6-3 record with 29 points).
Do you think the New York Islanders are serious Stanley Cup Contenders this season or no? Leave a comment below.
Follow Glenn Kaplan on Twitter @glennkaplan13.