New York Islanders: Three thoughts as the regular season nears its end

New York Islanders. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
New York Islanders. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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New York Islanders.
New York Islanders. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

Home ice trumps all.

While I think it is pretty obvious that the New York Islanders are going to do everything in their power to finish the season with the highest seed they possibly could, there are still some reasons for them to worry about their potential opponent in the first round.

Would the Islanders rather play the Hurricanes or the Penguins? Would it work if the Caps fell to them in the first round? Worrying about which division opponent the Isles could see in the first round is a very rational fear. The matchup matters and you don’t want to see the Isles get a thorn in their side the very first round.

However, no advantage is better for the Islanders than NYCB Live, or The Coliseum. It is called Fort Neverlose for a reason and if the Isles do indeed make the playoffs official, they would get the first round there. That is why it is oh so important the Isles get a top two seed in the Metro. They have been sitting pretty in the top two for most of the second half of the season and they can’t waver now.

If the Isles get that home ice advantage in the first round, it does not matter who they play. The Penguins, Hurricanes, Blue Jackets, bring them all on. The Isles have 17 wins against the Metro Division this season with just two games remaining against them. They have been able to win against every team in the division this season.

They need home ice, the rest will come after. The Isles can give themselves the easier path to the second round if the first one has to come through Long Island. That is going to be an atmosphere I don’t know any opposing team could overcome.