The New York Islanders made a coaching change in January and had a brief surge which got them back into playoff contention. However, the Islanders will have to really up play to reach the postseason.
Beginning Feb. 18th, the Islanders will play 18 of their last 26 regular season games on the road. For New York, even home games fell like away contests playing in Brooklyn, ranked 29th in home attendance.
The Isles are grouped with Boston, Toronto, Philadelphia, and Florida in playing musical chairs, where there are not enough places to sit for everyone.
With the Islanders 7-12-4 (7-16 SU) on the road, they are hardly an attractive choice for NHL picks.
Beginning Feb. 21st New York has a seemingly unforgiving nine-game road excursion. In sizing up the competition, winning at Montreal, Columbus, Chicago, Edmonton or St. Louis will be a tall order. Being able to engineer an upset or two or at least earning four of five points would appear paramount. Winning three of four at the likes of Detroit, Dallas, Calgary or Vancouver would be a huge boost since they are equals.
In surveying the bigger picture against the NHL odds, the Isles have four games with New Jersey and three with Carolina, two of the worst squads in the East. If they can sweep those two series, they might have a chance to overcome brutal rest of the season and make the Stanley Cup playoffs.