Tha Sports Junkies 101

Offense driving the Islanders

New York Islanders Photo by edenpictures



New York Islanders

After a streaky and disappointing season last year for the New York Islanders, this season has been a different story. They have been off to a hot start as we get into the 2017-18 campaign. They are currently third in a highly-contested Metropolitan Division, but are only two points out of first place. The New Jersey Devils hold the top spot, and the Columbus Blue Jackets have a narrow grip on the second place position. Many different factors have contributed to the Islanders’ success, but the biggest key of all has been their offense.


With the NHL scoring up across the board, more players are getting recognized for their offense. Teams are showing weakness and strength in their scoring as the season has gone along. New York has particularly shown strength in their offensive game. On defense however, the Islanders are a team which has struggled to find consistency within the net. Jaroslav Halak and Thomas Greiss have equally split time so far this year, and neither has shown true starter capabilities. Because of this inconsistent play, the offense has had to push themselves and produce in order for the team to win games. The large production of points has come from the forwards this year and some unexpected members have come through.

John Tavares

Over the course of his career, Tavares has been one of the most underrated captains of the NHL due to his team’s off and on playoff-caliber performances. He has been in the National Hockey League–and on the New York Islanders–since the 2009-2010 year, and has amassed an impressive 563 points over 610 games. With 189 Power Play Points, and 40 Game-Winning Goals; he has shown himself to be the heart and soul of the Islanders team and has been the constant on an ever-changing line up.

The captain of the Islanders has shown his leadership this year. Last season, he lead in points and was second for goals on the team. The New York Islanders had an up and down year, but the experienced center managed to put up a respectable 66 points over the course of 77 games. He had some struggles with games lost due to injury, but other than that he managed to be a solid leader on a team that went in and out of playoff contention. For this season however, he has gone above and beyond what the team has asked of him. Throughout 23 games this year, he has put forth 26 points (15G-11A), and has contributed 4 Power Play Goals. His effect on the young players this year as a model of consistency has been crucial to the Islanders’ scoring success.

Josh Bailey

This 28-year old winger has been a mediocre producer for the majority of his career. This season however, he has finally seemed to hit his stride at the start of the year. Bailey has played his whole career with the New York Islanders, but this season he has shown more promise than ever before. The Bowmanville, Ontario native has been inconsistent in previous years of his career. After playing 662 games, he has only acquired 334 points (111G-223A). This year, his selflessness with the puck has paid off tremendously for the Islanders.

Through 23 games played, the right winger has shown his offensive skill. He has 28 points right now (5G-23A) which is good enough for the Islanders’ lead scorer. He already has over half of the assists he totaled last year and in approximately a quarter of the games. Overall, Bailey is proving himself to be what the Islanders need for a self-less passer on the team.


 Nick Leddy

When it comes to veteran defenseman who are scorers, Leddy fits the bill. Throughout his eight-year NHL career, Nick Leddy has been with the Chicago Blackhawks, and most recently the New York Islanders. Both teams he has been on have been similar in their style of play. The Blackhawks are a unique team who, while Leddy was with them, promoted speed and finesse as their style. Now, with the Islanders the same style of play has shown true. Older, grinder players have been traded or bought out to allow the team to remain in contention with the speed and scoring of the new generation. In 512 games, he has averaged exactly 20:00 of Ice time/GP. His model of consistency and durability have landed him in a role to lead the team on the blue line.

His scoring production has also been notable. Through the 23 games played this year, his stat line is remarkable. He has 21 points so far (6G-14A) and has put up 22:11 of ice time/GP. His model of durability and scoring potential has been much needed for the Islanders’ hot start and it is not unnoticed.

New York’s Continued Success?

With the standings as chaotic as they have been, the Stanley Cup is the most up for grabs it has been in years. The competitive nature of the league shows how quickly things change. The New York Islanders have shown the exceptional ability to score, but now will their goaltending pick up their play as well? If they do, look out for the Islanders.