The Islanders are having themselves a season like no other in recent memory. They sit atop the division with a 3 point cushion. They are within a point of the Conference lead and don't look to be slowing down at all. With all of this coming together at the right time, their trade deadline mentality could be completely different than what we're used to.
For those that grew up during the great cup runs in the 80's and the "epic" playoff battles that took place in the 90's, fans already know how loud the Nassau Coliseum can get.
But for fans like myself, who were either not born or old enough to appreciate what was taking place on the ice in Long Island at that time, there is only the first round elimination series against the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2002 that truly proves merit to the Coliseum's nickname, the "Madhouse off the Meadowbrook."
The Edmonton Oilers got off to a head start on free agency by inking Justin Schultz and resigning Ryan Smyth, but they have to do much more to have a shot at the playoffs this season. What is left on the UFA pile that may be of some value? Read on to find out.
The Islanders find themselves eight points out of the playoffs again after losing to the St. Louis Blues on Thursday night. The loss, combined with almost every other team the Isles are fighting with having gained two points in the same night, put them back to the eight point differential. Just another dagger in the heart of Islanders fans that are hopeful of a late season push into the playoffs.
Although there is plenty of time between now and the end of the season, each win is crucial and each loss can be detrimental to their chances of capturing the eighth seed in the East. As I look at the standings and contemplate who needs to win and who needs to lose (just for fun, because my original prediction of the Isles falling to 10th or 11th in the East still stands), I can't help but think back to Easter of 2007.
The Edmonton Oilers, winners of six in a row, are off to their best start in a quarter-decade. They'll be the visitors tonight at Jobing.com Arena as they face off against the Phoenix Coyotes, who after a five-game unbeaten streak fell victim to Pekka Rinne's 23rd shutout on Thursday.
The Coyotes, who were 3-1 against the Oilers last season, sent Andy Miele back to the AHL's Portland Pirates yesterday, as Cal O'Reilly is expected to start tonight. Mike Smith will likely be the starting goaltender, and Martin Hanzal's status is still questionable. Out for the Oilers are Cam Barker, Ales Hemsky, Ryan Whitney and Darcy Hordichuk.