A quick check of the standings shows that while the Islanders were done and buried at this point last season (18 points out of 8th place), they are still on the outer fringes of the playoff race this season – 10 points behind the 8th place Capitals.
After tomorrow’s game in Philadelphia, the Isles will have only four games left in January – two against Carolina (Jan 21/ Jan 31) and two against Toronto (January 23/January 24). At the moment, neither of the opponents are in a playoff position.
One other note, the 8th place Caps have 50 points – three fewer than 8th place Atlanta had at this time last year. If these paces hold, it would suggest that fewer points will be needed to qualify this season than the 93 that the Rangers had last year.
Could the Isles get to 90? It would require 50 points in the final 38 games (something like 23-11-4). The Isles had 49 points in a 41 game stretch last season, but by all accounts this is a better team than a season ago.
Here's a look at the standings as of the morning of Jan 18:
|Last Season||This Season||change|
|NY Islanders||14-23-7||35||Tampa Bay||18-23-4||40||-17|