Home » Blog » Surprise Season Has Islanders In Contention

Surprise Season Has Islanders In Contention

There's plenty to celebrate on Long Island these days, for now at least.

There’s plenty to celebrate on Long Island these days, for now at least.

Don’t look now but there’s something peculiar going on in the National Hockey League’s Metropolitan Division.

Sure, there’s nothing surprising about the Pittsburgh Penguins leading the pack, but take a look at the team currently sat right next to Sidney Crosby and Co. If that’s not unexpected then we don’t know what is.

Through the first nine weeks of the 2014-15 NHL season, the New York Islanders have secured 36 points. That’s second only to the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Eastern Conference, and tied with the Penguins and Montreal Canadiens.

After two decades of mediocrity (or worse), the Islanders are finally giving fans on Long Island something to get excited by.

Looking at the numbers, New York’s success this season isn’t easy to pinpoint.

While the club is in the league’s top 10 in scoring this season with 3.00 goals per game, it’s only a middle of the table team when it comes to goals conceded (2.68 per contest).

No Islander player features in the league’s top 20 point getters, a category John Tavares leads the team in with 23 points. With 10 goals, Tavares just breaks into the top 20 goal scorers, while the Islanders’ leading goal scorer, Brock Nelson, sits in 13th place with 11 goals. Kyle Okposo nearly cracks the top 10 with 17 assists.

The Islanders have been getting a true team effort on offense, which has led to success. Another reason for the team’s success lies between the pipes.

Islanders’ netminder Jaroslav Halak currently sits in the top 10 in the league in wins (13), goals against average (2.12) and save percentage (.928). The Slovakian goaltender – in his first season with the Isles – recorded his 10th consecutive win on Tuesday. He’ll need to continue to put in strong performances if the Islanders are to enjoy a rare successful season.

Jaroslav Halak notched up his 10th straight win between the pipes on Tuesday.

Jaroslav Halak notched up his 10th straight win between the pipes on Tuesday.

The Islanders have made just one postseason appearance in the last seven seasons, a short excursion in 2013 which ended in the first round.

Looking back further, since the 1988-89 season, the Islanders have made eight postseason appearances in 25 seasons, advancing beyond the first round just once. It’s this long drought that fans in Nassau have had to endure.

Fans old enough still remember the glory days of the late 70s and early 80s when the Islanders went to the postseason 14 straight years. Believe it or not, the Isles were the best team in the league back then.

Between 1980 and 1984, the Islanders went to five straight Stanley Cup Finals, winning the first four before coming up short against Wayne Gretzky and the Edmonton Oilers in ’84.

Relive Islanders history

Those Stanley Cup-winning sides were the benchmark against which all other Islanders teams have been measured against. None has come close. Will the 2014-15 Islanders prove to be different?

There’s still a long way to go in the season and many questions to be answered, but right now this looks like the best Islanders team in a decade at least. Whether it still looks that way come April, or even one month down the line, remains to be seen.

The Islanders will wave goodbye to the archaic Nassau Coliseum at the end of the season, moving on to the glitz and glamor of Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

For long-suffering fans, a postseason swansong in Nassau would prove to be one hell of a parting gift. A perfect parting gift you might say. Well … almost perfect. Some people still remember Bryan Trottier, Bob Nystrom, Clark Gillies and Co. lifting the cup in the eighties.


The Islanders (18-7-0, 8-5-0 road) return to the ice Wednesday night for the backend of a home-and-home series with the Ottawa Senators (10-9-5, 5-2-3 home).

Opening faceoff at Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET.

The Islanders handed the Senators a 3-2 overtime defeat at Nassau Coliseum when the two sides met on Tuesday.

You can find the latest odds and trends for the game at the link below.

New York Islanders vs. Ottawa Senators odds for 12/04/2014

20141203_NHL_East_standings *****

Get the latest NHL game odds

The latest hockey futures can be found here

A selection of team prop bets can be found here

A selection of player prop bets can be found here

  • 100%