This upcoming season the Islanders were ready to make a huge leap in order to get back to the playoffs, but the departure of their superstar, John Tavares, aka JT, has left them with a hole too large to fill.
This previous season, the Islanders had finished 22nd overall in the NHL with 80 points, and without any significant improvements, we could be looking at an ugly season for the isles.
Even though JT left, the Islanders still have some players up their sleeve. Matthew Barzal will become the teams new #1 center after an incredible rookie season finishing with 85 points. After showing up late and getting sent back to the AHL, Josh Ho-Sang is ready to take the ice for the Islanders and we are excited to see what’s to come.
Barry Trotz, formally known as the Washington Capitals Head Coach, will join the Islanders this season and after a well-deserved Stanley Cup victory, he will definitely bring that culture of winning to the team and hopefully inspire confidence.
JT leaving is obviously a huge factor, but even with him they were far from holding up the Stanley Cup in June. If he were to stay, it would have been the same as it was the last few years. There are some holes that need to be filled as well as new issues that the team has created for themselves.
This past season, the Islanders led up a total of 296 goals, and they did not do much to fix the issue. Their goaltending and defense have been lacking season after season. The defense is pretty much exactly the same except without Calvin De Haan, and there were no improvements made. Goalie-wise, they upgraded from Jaroslav Halak to Robin Lehner, so hopefully that will be a step in the right direction.
And to make everything worse, the Islanders overpaid for Leo Komarov, Valteri Filppula, Tom Kuhnhackel and Ross Johnston.
With the expectations on, the Islanders underperformed last season, but now there are no expectations. Hopefully, Trotz can pull together something that might resemble a strong team and break this 35-year drought.