At the start of the season, Islander fans didn't think this team was a playoff team after their dreadful start to the 2016-2017 campaign. When the Islanders fired Jack Capuano they were 17-17-8 and 8 points out and now they sit 1 point out of the last wild card spot, behind the Toronto Maple Leafs, whom they play tonight in Toronto. Doug Weight has done a phenomenal job behind the bench as of late and the Isles look like a completely new rejuvenated team including: Ryan Strome and Brock Nelson.
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The Leafs are guided by their young stars: Mitch Marner, William Nylander and Auston Matthews. While, the Isles are lead by All-Star Captain John Tavares. At 26, Tavares is already one of the best centers in the league and the Isles build off his momentum.
As mentioned previously on other blogs, the Isles are constantly looking for a winger to play aside Tavares and they may have found two players-- no, not Matt Duchene and Gabriel Landeskog, but Josh Bailey and Anders Lee. Bailey is having a career season and currently has 38 points 8 from Tavares who has 46. Lee who has been a completely different player since Thanksgiving, has 21 goals (20 for Tavares) and leads the team in goals.
At approximately 10:15 PM, the Isles could be in a playoff spot for the first time this season. If the Isles play Washington in round 1, the Capitals have 6 forwards who score 20+ goals, SIX: Ovechkin, Backstrom, Kuznetsov, Johansson, Oshie and Justin Williams. Just a filthy top 6 and the Isles could see them in round 1 of the playoffs unless the Blue Jackets fall off a cliff which is a possibility with the way they are playing.
Isles-Toronto at 7:30 from the Air Canada Centre
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