Wow. All we can all say is wow. In a season that began around 11 months ago, the New York Islanders went on a playoff run further than they have since 1993. The Islanders had a regular season to remember as well. The Islanders started off slow losing to Washington Capitals in their season opener. Semyon Varlamov looked all over the place and Long Island was really missing Robin Lehner.
The Islanders didn’t get their magic back until October 14th. The Islanders were playing at home against the defending champions St. Louis Blues. The Isles were pretty much dominated all game but scored 2 goals in the final 5 minutes to tie the game up. Brock Nelson scored short side off a weak shot, and Barzal scored with seconds left to tie it up. From that moment on, we knew the New York Islanders were back. Devon Toews went on to score the Overtime winner.
The Islanders then went on to win TEN straight games- which extended to a 16-game point streak. It was absolutely unreal what this team accomplished. Semyon Varlamov adjusted well and fit in perfectly. This team was starting to look like a Barry Trotz team again.
The one struggle that stuck with us for was the powerplay. Lou Lamoriello answered our prayers and acquired Jean-Gabriel Pageau at the trade deadline. This was huge. Although the Islanders hadn’t won with him until after the restart, JGP was an instrumental piece to our team.
After the 5 month break due to COVID, the Islanders were ready to do some damage. They swiftly eliminated the Florida Panthers 3-1 in the qualifying series. The Isles, again with ease, took out the Washington Capitals in 5 games. Philadelphia wasn’t as pretty, as it required 7 games. The Islanders then flew to Edmonton to compete in the Eastern Conference Finals. Tampa Bay was well-rested, while the Islanders were still recovering from the seven-game showdown against Philadelphia. That became very evident, as Tampa blew out the Islanders 8-2 in Game 1. The Islanders got better and better throughout the series, and with a bit of puck luck the Islanders could’ve moved on to the Stanley Cup Finals.
This run was something to remember. The Islanders are only getting better from here. Lou Lamoriello is fully aware that the Islanders lost the series due to their ineffective powerplay. Lou has absolutely no choice but to go out and acquire a goal scorer. That’s the missing piece. That is this generation’s Butch Goring that will complete the puzzle. We’re a couple moves away from hoisting the Cup. So be proud Isles fans, the future is bright.