NHL - METROPOLITAN
Stadium: UBS Arena
Coach: Barry Trotz
2022-2023 TEAM LEADERS
New York Islanders Standings
The New York Islanders are a professional ice hockey team based in Uniondale, New York. The team competes in the Metropolitan Division of the Eastern Conference in the NHL. The Islanders have a passionate fan base and have a history of success, having won multiple championships in the past.
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The Islanders entered the league in 1972 in Long Island, New York, to keep the rival WHA from establishing another team in the region. Due to its close proximity to the original six team, the New York Rangers, the Islanders struggled with finding a team identity amidst the much larger Manhattan fanbase.
The team struggled immensely in their inaugural season, with an abysmal 12-60-6 and following it up with another poor 19-41-8 record in the 1973-1974 season. The franchise’s outlook took a major shift after drafting Denis Potvin in the 1973 NHL draft, who would lead the team to their first-ever playoff appearance and series win over the Rangers in 1975.
The Islanders would make the playoff for 14 straight seasons, including winning four straight Stanley Cups from 1980-1983. New York made it to the finals for a 5th consecutive time in 1984 but was defeated by the emerging Oilers dynasty and Wayne Gretzky.
Following their win over the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1993, the Islanders would go winless in the playoffs until 2016, when they defeated the Florida Panthers.
After hiring Barry Trotz in the 2018-2019 season, the Islanders have made the postseason in 3 straight seasons and made the conference final in both the 2020 and 2021 playoffs.
2022 Key Stats
Despite playing excellent hockey for the last three seasons under Barry Trotz, the Islanders are struggling to find success in 2022. The Isles had an abysmal start to the season, digging a massive hole for themselves by going 5-17-3 to start the season with an 11 game losing streak from November 7th-December 5th, 2021.
New York has slowly been digging themselves up from the bottom of the standings and back to .500, currently sitting in last place in the Metropolitan Division with a record of 10-12-6.
One interesting statistic about the Islanders this year- despite being one of the worst teams in the league, New York has the fewest goals allowed out of any team in the league at 80. Unfortunately, they also hold the worst offensive numbers in the league, with a measly 64 goals scored all year long, the only team that has yet to score 70 goals.
Centerman Matt Barzal leads the Islanders in scoring this year with six goals and 15 assists. Oliver Wahlstrom (15) and Noah Dobson (14) are behind him. As you might notice, these numbers are not exceptionally high for team leaders.
The Islanders’ offensive woes are further evident in the Isles’ surprisingly good goaltending numbers- Starter Ilya Sorokin has a SV% of .925 in 20 starts, while backup Semyon Varlamov has put up a .910 SV% in 9 games. The Islanders clearly have a great defensive system; the offense is simply not there this season.
Championships Won by the Team
The Islanders not only have the longest championship streak record in the NHL- no other team in sports has won as many straight titles as New York. From 1980-1983, the Islanders were dominant in every aspect, with victories over the Philadelphia Flyers, Minnesota North Stars, Vancouver Canucks, and Edmonton Oilers for their titles.
During their stretch from 80-83, the Islanders had an unprecedented record of 60-18 in the postseason, never facing a game seven during their playoff run.
The Islanders have come close to returning to the Stanley Cup in recent years but have run into the current Tampa Bay Lightning dynasty on nearly every occasion.
The Isles first lost to Tampa in the 2nd round of the 2016 playoffs after advancing for the first time since 1993; they would lose to them again just four years later in the 2019 Eastern Conference finals in a 4-2 series.
The two teams met again for an Eastern Conference finals rematch the following year, with Tampa winning in seven and advancing to their second straight cup, which they won.
Important Team Events
The rivalry with the New York Rangers was a franchise-defining moment for the Islanders, particularly during the 70s and the height of the Islanders’ dynasty.
The first-ever playoff win would come against their Manhattan neighbors in a 2-1 series victory, solidifying them as a legitimate team in the state of New York.
The prolonged success of the 80s overshadowed the accomplishments of their rivals, winning more cups than the Rangers had in their entire existence to that point and beating their enemy on their journey to the cup in each season.
In the 2018 offseason, team captain John Tavares entered free agency. Tavares had initially intended to sign with the team again but shocked the hockey world after announcing he had instead signed a massive seven-year, $77 million contract with his favorite childhood team, the Toronto Maple Leafs.
On February 20th, 2019, Tavares returned to Long Island in an away sweater, facing an electric and angry Islanders crowd. New York ended up trouncing the Maple Leafs 6-1 and has had significantly more success than Tavares has since his departure.
One of the most prominent New York Islander players in franchise history is, without a doubt, Denis Potvin, who completely changed the history of the franchise after being drafted in 1973.
Though he only holds the team’s franchise records for shots (3053), he would win the Norris Trophy as the top defenseman in the league on three different occasions and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1991.
Another dominant player for the Islanders was Bryan Trottier, who holds the team records for most points (1353), assists (853), and plus/minus (470). During his day, Trottier held the NHL record for most points in a single period (six) and recorded multiple five-goal games throughout his career.
Trottier was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1997 as soon as he became eligible. Mike Bossy was another critical forward to the Islanders’ dynasty and currently holds the franchise record for most goals (573) and powerplay goals (181). Bossy, too, entered the Hall of Fame in 1991.
The top coach for the Islanders is Al Arbour, who coached the team from 1973-1986 and oversaw their consecutive championship wins. Arbour also won the Jack Adams award for the best coach in the league in 1979 and had a regular-season record of 552-317-169.
Arbour’s postseason record is more impressive, finishing with a staggering 109-62 and a .637 win percentage.
The Islanders have benefited tremendously under head coach Barry Trotz in recent years. Trotz was hired during the 2018 off-season, coming in fresh after his Stanley Cup win with the Washington Capitals.
After joining the team, Trotz would make an immediate impact, winning the Jack Adams in 2019 and going 115-67-24 since arriving in Long Island.
Given how the Islanders have struggled with sustained success since the 90s, Trotz has completely transformed the franchise’s culture and has made Long Island a hockey town once again.
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New York Islanders Frequently Asked Questions
The Islanders first entered the league in 1972 to prevent the rival WHA from expanding into New York.
The Islanders have 4 Stanley Cups, all won from 1980-1983. The consecutive string of championships is a sports record and is one of the most dominant dynasties in history.
The Islanders play in Long Island, New York. Given their close proximity to the New York Rangers in Manhattan, the Islanders have been in a long-standing battle to attract New Yorkers to their franchise.
The Islanders-Rangers rivalry is one of the best in the league, as both teams are extremely close in proximity and have been highly competitive in each of their matchups. The Islanders have also run into the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Eastern Conference finals in 2020 and 2021, with Tampa moving on to win the cup in each instance.
Bryan Trottier leads the team in all-time scoring with 1353 points, while Mike Bossy holds the franchise record in goals scored with 573.