A smoking hot start to the second half of the season has fans of the New York Islanders dreaming big. In that vein, here are five bold predictions for the rest of the season.
1 – Doug Weight finishes the season as the Islanders coach.
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Ok, this one isn’t that bold. The post-Capuano Isles’ success might be due to Doug Weight‘s coaching prowess. It might be due to the locker room having quit on Capuano. It might be a combination of both. I think the hot start, regardless of actual cause, buys Weight the rest of the season. Bolder predictions to come.
2 – John Tavares finishes the season with more points than games played.
It’s no secret that the Islanders’ recent success is due in no small part to John Tavares turning the speaker to eleven. He has 14 points in the last nine games. With nine points in the six games under Weight. I don’t think it’s out of the question to see this continue for what’s left of the season. Especially when you consider prediction #3…
3 – Garth pulls the trigger.
I look at the list of prospects on the cusp for this team and wonder where they’re all going to find playing time. Garth Snow has to be thinking the same thing. He has an abundance of talent in the system and a first round draft pick he definitely doesn’t want. This season he finally uses it to shop at Colorado’s fire sale to obtain an actual top line wing for Tavares
4 – The New York Islanders make the playoffs.
Despite overwhelming odds against, the Islanders are going to not only make the playoffs, but win there. The Islanders look energized since Capuano’s departure. Specifically, they have looked like a completely different team in the dreaded third period. Gone is the prevent defensive shell that only prevented them from winning. When this team keeps their foot on the pedal and plays their game they are dangerous.
A side effect of both Jaroslav Halak being sent to the AHL and Capuano being fired is that Thomas Greiss has looked amazing. He is currently fifth in the NHL in Save % and tied for ninth in Goals Against. The four people ahead of him in Save % all have warts. Jimmy Howard is playing way above his career stat line. The others have played 39 games. I would expect a fall off from overuse. Advantage Greiss.
Bold enough? Not Bold enough? Let me know in the comments or on twitter @Number1Vogel.