With a 5-1 win over the Sabres, there is no mathematical way that the Islanders miss the playoffs. Surprisingly, there is still a slight chance that the Isles fall to the 2nd Wild Card Spot. As obvious as it is, home ice advantage is crucial for the Islanders. Playing as the opponent in the Coliseum is never easy, just ask John Tavares.
If we were to create of checklist for this team, in order of priority, it would go like this:
- Clinch Playoffs (Check)
- Clinch Home-Ice (Incomplete)
- Win Division, for the sake of the banner (Incomplete)
- Win Conference, over Tavares AND get a banner (Incomplete)
- Win the Cup (Captain Obvious has entered the chat)
As we move down the list with 3 games remaining, home-ice looks more and more ensuring.
However, there is a huge chance that the divisional champion will be decided in the last game of the regular season.
The strength of this team is its backbone” … “It’s good to know we have an invite to the party.”– Head Coach Barry Trotz