The Islanders Are on a Roll

Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

In what has been a sluggish season for the New York Islanders, it appears that things finally seem to be trending in the right direction.

After sitting a decent number of points out of a playoff spot in an extremely tight Eastern Conference, the team is currently (Wednesday, February 8) tied with the Pittsburgh Penguins for the second wild-card spot. The Islanders are currently 27-22-5 and have 59 points on the year.

The record has improved thanks to a four-game winning streak. They won two games before the All-Star break and jumped out of the All-Star break with two straight wins.

There are a few reasons why the Islanders have begun to turn things around in their march toward hopefully clinching a playoff spot Come April. For starters, the team locked up their newest acquisition, Bo Horvat, to an eight-year contract extension worth an average annual value of $8.5 million

Amazingly, the team was able to do this before him even stepping on the ice with his new club. Horvat has already come up big for his new club as he scored a goal in his home debut with the team in a 4-0 win over the Seattle Kraken on Tuesday night, February 7. 

Horvat will need to be huge for this team the rest of the way. The Islanders are not known for having a deadly offense, so he will have to produce in all situations and be one of their top guys.

Secondly, the team is getting great goaltending from All-Star Ilya Sorokin and Semyon Varlamov. That will have to be the case the rest of the way for his hockey club.

Sorokin, 27, has posted a shutout in each of his last two starts. He had 27 saves in a shutout over the Detroit Red Wings back on Friday, January 27, and then 32 saves in a shutout over the Kraken on Tuesday night.

On the season, Sorokin is now 17-16-0-4 with a 2.31 goals-against average, a .926 save percentage, and a league-leading five shutouts. It is safe to say that the Islanders have their franchise goaltender in Sorokin.

Varlamov has also been solid for this hockey club. He has won his last two starts and has stopped 70 of 72 shots in wins over the Vegas Golden Knights and Philadelphia Flyers, respectively.

Lastly, the team appears to be playing with a lot of confidence right now. They are finding the back of the net, keeping the puck out of their net, have a new All-Star in Horvat, and are within striking distance of getting into the postseason.

There is a lot to like about the Islanders right now. It will be interesting to see if they can keep up their strong play. 

Stanley Cup Aspirations Cue’ the Duck Boats Pod

The boys are back after a long break but have plenty to talk about as the playoffs are in full swing. We go series by series, looking at how teams have fared so far and who will come out on top. Thanks for listening! Please rate and review our show on your favorite listening platform. Check out our partner's website at www.insidetherink.com for all your latest hockey news.
  1. Stanley Cup Aspirations
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  5. Kevy Cooks

Patrick Hoffman

Patrick covers the NHL for Inside The Rink. He has previously covered the league for The Ultimate Hockey Fan Cave, WTP Sports, Sportsnet.ca, Kukla’s Korner, Spector’s Hockey, NHL Network Radio blog, TheHockeyNews.com, The Fourth Period, Stan Fischler’s “The Fischler Report”, as well as a slew of others.

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