Metropolitan Division Preview: New York Islanders

Poor John Tavares, stuck doing it all by himself on Long Island

The New York Islanders and the Philadelphia Flyers have a fairly long history together. The animosity isn’t there like it was back in the early 80s, when the Islanders were a dominate team and the Flyers were transitioning from the Bullies to something new. Before this past season, the Flyers had dominated the Isles.

However, times have changed and a lot of the Islanders’ young offensive talent is finally making a difference. As they move into the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, the Islanders are a team with a good amount of buzz. They gave the Penguins some fits in their playoff series.

 

City Facts

They are in Brooklyn now, which is technically Long Island. Regardless of where they play, they can’t seem to find a building suitable for hockey. The Barclays Center has bad sightlines for the sport, whereas the Nassau Coliseum is merely unsuitable for human life.

 

Worst Jersey

Do you even have to ask? Actually, I think we have found a new champion this past season in black, orange, and grey. At least the fisherman has the classic Islander colors.

 

Key Players

John Tavares – Came in 3rd in Hart voting last season, and for good reason. Tavares is one of the best players in the NHL, and he’s only 22! I can’t even make a joke about Tavares, he’s flat-out awesome. The guy’s career low in goals for a single season is 24.

 

Matt Moulson – Moulson is the Islanders’ second best scorer and averaged over 30 goals a season with the team before the lockout. People probably make a lot of poor beer jokes regarding his name.

 

Cal Clutterbuck – Clutterbuck has one of the best names in hockey. I mean, just look at that thing. Could he have any profession other than hockey player with that name? Clutterbuck just came over to the Islanders from the Wild…and was already cut with a skate, keeping him out for some time.

 

Evgeni Nabakov – Ah, the old tried and true regular-season goalie. He’ll get you to the dance, but then he’ll puke all over your nice tux. That’s a rental, brah! That said, the Islanders would probably be very happy to just be back in the dance again.

 

Coach

image via bangordailynews.com

Jack Capuano – The best hair in the NHL. I’m not even sure I know what to properly compare it to. I was going to say Wayne Newton, but I was too scared by the alien like images that popped up in my something search. Capuano has been coaching the Isles since 2010 and finally posted his first winning season with the team last year.

 

Key offseason move

The Islanders finally rid themselves of the scourge of Rick DiPietro’s contact. Garth Snow actually ate the contract whole in front of him and washed it down with Rick’s delicious tears.

Did I mention that the Islanders are still paying Alexei Yashin? Because they are and that’s awesome.

 

Division prediction: Fifth

The Isles can finish anywhere from 2nd to 8th in this division. Their talent level is really across the board, and Tavares is far and away their best player. They don’t have enough pieces to make a push for the top yet and they’ll fight for a playoff spot.