The New York Islanders may have just entered first place, but their window isn’t even fully open yet. The future is bright on Long Island.
Even the most optimistic of New York Islanders fans weren’t expecting this kind of season from their team. After losing their star captain, John Tavares, the ceiling for this team seemed to be competing for a wild card spot.
Although, admittedly, I thought this team would finish with a slightly worse record than last year, competing for a Wild Card didn’t sound outlandish based on their new coaching hire. Boy did we underestimate the Barry Trotz effect.
Trotz’s impact took a couple of weeks to go fully into form, but once it did the Isles began to heat up. They climbed the standings on the backs of strong goalie play and good defense, something they were awful at just last season.
The Islanders sit in first place and are the hottest team in the sport right now. They’re overachieving based on everyone’s expectations and Islanders fans should be eating this up. But what if I told you this is only the beginning.
We forget this is just year one of Barry Trotz and Lou Lamoriello. What’s going to happen next year and beyond? While obviously living in the now and enjoying every second of it is great and well deserved it’s also only the beginning.
This team is only going to get better for two main reasons.