With little under a week remaining in the NHL season, the Islanders remain alive, for now. With the Bruins winning both games this weekend with versus the Panthers and the Blackhawks, they pushed the Ottawa Senators back into the second wild card 6 points ahead of the Islanders. Jaroslav Halak has been the "hot" goalie if you want to call him that. 3-0 in in his first 3 starts back with the Islanders. As of Tuesday, April 4, the Islanders tragic number is 3. Meaning a loss puts it at 1 and an Ottawa win would eliminate the Isles for the first time since 2013-2014. There is no question that Doug Weight has gotten the Islanders out of the cellar and into contention and he has earned every opportunity to be the teams full time coach, come next season.
Most importantly, the Isles' players would love a return from Weight in October and if the Isles want to lock up Tavares, they may have to keep Weight because Tavares and Weight were very close when Weight played shortly with Tavares.
Travis Hamonic and Casey Cizikas are both out for the remainder of the regular season, both with upper-body injuries. It looked like Cizikas never fully recovered from his injury that sidelined him for most of the 9 game road trip. It looked like Hamonic, broke his arm as he was seen with a cast on his arm after the game versus Philadelphia. John Tavares is also out for the rest of the season, with a pulled hamstring. So, there is no doubt that the injury bug has hit the Islanders, in the thick of the playoff race.
With 4 games left, 3 wins ties them with Ottawa but the Islanders NEED to win out. The only 2 playoff teams left on the schedule for the Isles is Ottawa and Nashville. The Isles would love some pay-back from the last time these two teams meet. Jusse Saros was a wall but the Islanders did not test him. Tonight, they will end with Pekka Rinne and if the Islanders play like they did in Buffalo, they are in good shape to win tonight.
Anders Lee has been on tear since Thanksgiving plotting 30 goals since then and has a total of 31 goals on the season. It's been a career season for him, but it didn't look like that in the middle of October-November, but he has turned a corner and he has earned the top minutes.
The Islanders have a ton of work to do. As Yogi Berra said "It ain't over till it's over" the Islanders have played like that for the past 2 games and they need to continue the streak for the remainder of the season